June 7, 2023

Mellinger Writes Editorial on Sir Isaac Newton for “Great Lives” Lecture

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton

College of Arts and Sciences Dean and Professor of Mathematics Keith Mellinger wrote an editorial about Sir Isaac Newton in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on Feb. 2. The Zoom talk may be accessed online at umw.edu/greatlives.

BORN ON Christmas Day in 1642 to a family of humble roots, Isaac Newton grew to be regarded by many as the most influential scientist who ever lived. As a child, he showed great talent, and before the age of 30, he laid the foundations for mathematical and scientific theories that changed the world.

Michael Hart’s often debated 1978 book, “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History,” placed Newton in second place, perhaps a surprising outcome for one whose work was not political or religious, areas where individuals tend to have profound influence.

After a deep dive into Newton’s contributions, one can easily be convinced. Read more.