Wallis, John (1616–1703)
The most influential English mathematician before Isaac Newton
and an important contributor to the origins of calculus.
He was a skilled linguist, was one of the first to proclaim in public William
Harvey's discovery of the circulation
of the blood, and had an extraordinary
memory for figures. His Arithmetica Infinitorum was described as
"the most stimulating mathematical work so far published in England"
and introduced the original symbol for infinity (like an '8' lying on its
side). It contained the germs of the differential calculus, and it suggested
to Newton, who was delighted by it, the binomial