# Isaac Newton (1642–1726)

Birthday: 25 December

At that time the college's teachings were based on those of Aristotle, whom Newton supplemented with modern philosophers such as Descartes and astronomers such as Galileo and Thomas Street, through whom he learned of Kepler's work.[citation needed] He set down in his notebook a series of "Quaestiones" about mechanical philosophy as he found it. In 1665, he discovered the generalised binomial theorem and began to develop a mathematical theory that later became calculus. Soon after Newton had obtained his BA degree in August 1665, the university temporarily closed as a precaution against the Great Plague. Although he had been undistinguished as a Cambridge student,[21] Newton's private studies at his home in Woolsthorpe over the subsequent two years saw the development of his theories on calculus,[22] optics, and the law of gravitation.