John Wallis was born in Ashford, Kent, England back in 1616 to the Reverend John Wallis and Joanna. Educated at James Movat’s school in Tenterden he was first exposed to mathematics in 1631, at Martin Holbeach’s school in Felsted.
He had his sights set on being a doctor when he enrolled at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. His interest was on the circulation of blood however, mathematics held his interest. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1637 and a Master’s in 1640. He entered the priesthood, from 1643 to 1649 he served as a scribe at the Westminster Assembly. Sadly, he resigned as he married but that did not stop him.
He made significant contribution to trigonometry, calculus and geometry. What you may not know about John is that he is responsible for the development of infinitesimal calculus. However, he is credited with introducing the symbol ∞ for infinity. He also used 1/∞ for an infinitesimal. The old saying infinity and beyond (remember)? Well now you know who started the whole thing. He died in 1703 in Oxford, England he was 86.
Some of the symbols and equations are way beyond me actually, they all are. Until tomorrow keep that smile on your face and a penny in your pocket.