Hubert NewtonIn biographies, Hubert Newton (1830-1896) was an American mathematician and physicist known as the “grandfather of American mathematics” who seems to have been the main intellectual mentor to Willard Gibbs. [1]

Newton seems to have a significant influence on Willard Gibbs, something evidenced by the fact that Newton along with Rudolf Clausius are the only two people Gibbs every wrote obituaries or biographies on (see: collected works). [2]

American mathematics historian Steve Batterson (2008) argues that it was Newton who convinced Gibbs to study abroad; moreover: [1]

“When the National Academy of Sciences was incorporated in 1863, he was one of the initial 50 scholars invited for membership. Moreover, Newton was the confidant and sounding board for J. Willard Gibbs, the greatest American scientist of the nineteenth century. Most of Newton’s own re-search involved the study of meteors and comets. In 1895 he became vice president of the American Mathematical Society.”

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Newton completed his BA at Yale in 1850 and in 1855 became Yale's then only professor of mathematics, during which time he did research on laws of meteors and comets. [1]

1. Batterson, Steve. (2008). “The Father of American Mathematics” (pdf), Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 55(3):352-63, Mar.
2. Gibbs, J. Willard. (1897). “Hubert Anson Newton.” American Journal of Science, 4(3):359–378.

Further reading
● Newton, Hubert A. (1889). “The Worship of Meteorites” (Ѻ), Lecture given in New Haven, Conn, Mar 29 (unpublished); in American Journal of Science, 3(3):1-#, Jan 1897; in: Nature, 1450(56):355-59, 12 Aug 1897.

External links
Hubert Anson Newton – Wikipedia.

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