Sir Isaac Newton was born January 4, 1643. At the age of three, he was taken under the care of his grandmother. Newton, however, was never a very good student, so when he was a teenager, his mother pulled him from school to work on the farm to train him as a successful farmer. She saw that he very clever and that he had more important talents than farming, so she sent him to Cambridge University at the age of eighteen. There he learned much about science and mathematics and began to formulate some early theories about mathematics. Immediately after his graduation when he was 21, he began to independent research in the fields of natural philosophy and mathematics. Natural philosophy was a relatively new idea that nature was not simple, but a complex system that tended to be unpredictable and violent. Isaac Newton came into a world where mathematics and science were emerging from and turning on the roots of itself, ancient Greece.

Philosophers such as Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon urged scientists to create new ideas and theorems, rather than depend on ancient ones. Newton would later depend on the works of peers of his day, such as Galileo.

Two years after Newton graduated from Trinity College at Cambridge, he returned to receive a fellowship and a Master's Degree. He ignored the college's curriculum to pursue his own interests. After he received his degree, he began his first achievement, which was in the field of mathematics. In the autumn of 1666, he developed calculus, the most advanced form of mathematics at the time. He developed it by joining methods used to draw tangents to curves, and to calculate the area swept by curves. Since Newton was frightened by criticism, he did not publish his findings. In 1675, Gottfried...