John Wallis (/ˈ w ɒ l ɪ s  /  ;[2] Latin: Wallisius; 3 December [O.S. 23 November] 1616 – 8 November 

John Wallis - Wikipedia

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John Wallis (/ˈ w ɒ l ɪ s / ;[2] Latin: Wallisius; 3 December [O.S. 23 November] 1616 – 8 November [O.S. 28 October] 1703) was an English clergyman and mathematician who is given partial credit for the development of infinitesimal calculus. Between 1643 and 1689 he served as chief cryptographer for Parliament and, later, the royal court.[3] He is credited with introducing the symbol ∞ to represent the concept of infinity.[4] He similarly used 1/∞ for an infinitesimal. John Wallis was a contemporary of Newton and one of the greatest intellectuals of the early renaissance of mathematics.[5]

On 14 March 1645[which calendar? ] he married Susanna Glynde (c. 1600 – 16 March 1687).[which calendar? ] They had three children:

John Wallis was born in Ashford, Kent. He was the third of five children of Reverend John Wallis and Joanna Chapman. He was initially educated at a school in Ashford but moved to James Movat's school in Tenterden in 1625 following an outbreak of plague. Wallis was first exposed to mathematics in 1631, at Felsted School (then known as Martin Holbeach's school in Felsted); he enjoyed maths, but his study was erratic, since "mathematics, at that time with us, were scarce looked on as academical studies, but rather mechanical" (Scriba 1970). At the school in Felsted, Wallis learned how to speak and write Latin. By this time, he also was proficient in French, Greek, and Hebrew.[9] As it was intended he should be a doctor, he was sent in 1632 to Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[10] While there, he kept an act on the doctrine of the circulation of the blood; that was said to have been the first occasion in Europe on which this theory was publicly maintained in a disputation. His interests, however, centred on mathematics. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1637 and a Master's in 1640, afterwards entering the priesthood. From 1643 to 1649, he served as a nonvoting scribe at the Westminster Assembly. He was elected to a fellowship at Queens' College, Cambridge in 1644, from which he had to resign following his marriage.

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