Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/862

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instance, the variolous or tubercular germ, may be difficult to trace, for as we at present see these germs it is as though we were looking at a picture or photograph of a family tree in which the greater part of the trunk and larger branches have become obliterated, having only the terminal twigs visible, with no apparent connection between them.—Lancet.



THE President of the American Association for this year, Professor Hubert Anson Newton, of Yale College, is distinguished not less for his researches in the higher mathematics, which mark a distinct advance in the American study of that science, than by his contributions to the determination of the orbit of the November meteors, in which he was a pioneer.

Professor Newton was born at Sherburne, New York, on the 19th of March, 1830. Having made his preparatory and academical studies in the schools of his native town, he entered Yale College in the second term of his Freshman year, and was graduated from that institution in 1850. He then spent two years and a half in studying mathematics at home and in New Haven, and was appointed tutor in the college in July, 1852. Entering this office in June, 1853, he had the care of the whole department of mathematics from the first; for Professor Stanley was ill, and died in the spring of 1853. He was elected Professor of Mathematics in 1855, and was given permission to spend a year in Europe. Returning, he assumed the chair in 1856, and has ever since been engaged in the active discharge of the duties of the professorship.

His earlier works appear to have been principally directed to those methods in higher geometry, the power and elegance of which, says his biographer in the "History of Yale College," have been so highly shown in the works of Chasles and others. Among the most conspicuous of them is a memoir "On the Construction of Certain Curves by Points," published in 1861 in the "Mathematical Monthly," which is characterized as one of those contributions to abstract science which have been, unfortunately, too rare in this country. A later, no less remarkable paper was one of joint authorship in the Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences on "Certain Transcendental Curves."

His most important service to science, and the one by which he is probably most widely known to the world of students, is the work which he performed in the study of the November meteors. These phenomena, which had been occasionally mentioned at previous periods of their recurrence without apparently any adequate comprehension of