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[Zoom Service] How God Became a Mathematician: Kepler, Galileo, and Newton and the Unification of the Laws of Motion

January 29, 2023 @ 10:15 AM 12:00 PM

Richard Wilders, Professor Emeritus in History of Science and Mathematics at North Central College, will speak on the topic, How God Became a Mathematician: Kepler, Galileo, and Newton and the Unification of the Laws of Motion.  In 1622 Galileo’s Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences presented a quantitative description of motion near the Earth.  In 1687 Newton’s Principia combined Galileo’s work with that of Johannes Kepler to create a single mathematical description of the motion of the planets and of objects near the Earth.  Richard Wilders will trace the history of the transition from Aristotle’s ancient theory of motion to Newton’s by three men each of whom was motivated by a desire to understand God’s plan for his creation – a plan based on mathematics.

Richard Wilders was born in McCook, Nebraska but grew up in Columbus, Ohio.  He spent his entire professional life at North Central College, retiring in 2019 after 45 years of service.  During that time, he served as Department Chair, Director of Advising, and Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research.  After arriving at North Central, Wilders developed an interest in the history and philosophy of science and of mathematics.  He created and taught two undergraduate and three graduate courses related to the history of science and mathematics.  He is an active member of the Mathematical Association of America and serves as a reviewer for MAA Reviews.  In retirement Wilders remains an active teacher as a part-time faculty member at College of DuPage, Oakton Community College and, of course, North Central College.

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