The Community Bank of the Chesapeake Lecture
Born after the death of his father to a young woman of humble roots in rural England, Sir Isaac Newton grew to be regarded by many as the most influential scientist who ever lived. As a child, he showed great talent, and before ever reaching the age of 30, he laid the foundations for mathematical and scientific theories that proved to have lasting impact, including the laws of mechanical motion, calculus, optics, and more. Some have argued that it was inevitable for the time. Newton was born the same year as the death of the great Galileo and Newton himself said “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” In his productive brilliance, he struggled to live a normal life, almost never cultivating meaningful relationships despite his insights into human behavior, once noting, “Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.” In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of why Newton’s work remains so influential, we look at the man behind the science.
For further reading on Isaac Newton, see an op-ed by Keith Mellinger, published in the Free Lance-Star on January 31, 2021.
Speaker: Keith Mellinger
Dr. Keith E. Mellinger is Professor of Mathematics and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UMW. He earned an MS and PhD in mathematics from the University of Delaware, after receiving his undergraduate degree from Millersville University (PA). He joined UMW in 2003 after a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Mellinger’s research in discrete mathematics was recognized in 2006 with a young investigator grant from the National Security Agency, and in 2010, he received a national writing award from the Mathematical Association of America. An accomplished scholar and researcher, Dr. Mellinger has published many articles on both mathematical research and pedagogy, and has delivered presentations at conferences and meetings all over the world. Prior to his position as Dean, Dr. Mellinger served as the mathematics department chair, interim director of Academic and Career Services, and director of the university’s First-Year Experience.