Joseph Stillman Hubbard was an important figure in the field of astronomy. He made a number of significant contributions to the understanding of comets and asteroids, including the determination of zodiacs for all but four then-known asteroids. Hubbard graduated from Yale in 1843 and taught at a classical school for one winter prior to moving to Philadelphia to assume an assistantship under his mentor, Sears Cook Walker. He joined an expedition to the Rocky Mountains in 1844 to work as a computer; soon after, he was offered a position as a professor of mathematics for the U.S. Navy. Hubbard was elected to the National Institute of Washington in 1845 and to the American Philosophical Society in 1852. He was a charter member of the Academy.