Mona School of Business & Management (MSBM) hosted the “World’s Most Influential Mathematician (2018)” Dr Nira Chamberlain in a virtual session for the UWI Mona Community on Thursday, July 29, 2021, where he explored the topic “Mathematics, Critical Thinking & Development.”
Dr. Nira Chamberlain, born to Jamaican parents, is the first Black Mathematician to appear in the Who’s Who. The holder of two (2) doctoral degrees in Mathematics (a PhD from Portsmouth University and an HonDSc from Greenwich University for “his inspirational and unique contribution to the field”); Dr. Chamberlain has over 25 years of experience at writing mathematical models/simulation algorithms to solve complex industrial problems and has developed mathematical solutions within the defense, aerospace, automotive, energy and retail industrial sectors.
Dr David MCBean, Executive Director, MSBM, in his opening remarks, expressed the School’s delight to be able to host Dr Chamberlain “to share his journey, achievements and inspire another generation of Mathematicians as not just being a good mathematician but as someone who has influenced the wider society.”
In his presentation which was attended by a cross section of both faculty and students, Dr. Chamberlain noted that the world is becoming more digital, and data driven and there has also been a rise in artificial intelligence. He believes that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is very important and is needed to address the world’s climate issues. He highlighted, “To solve the issues of global warming and climate change, we need more people in STEM who will help to address these issues that has been getting worse. COVID-19 will be managed overtime, but global climate change is a challenge that we are yet to address.” He noted that Mathematics is an untapped resource in many countries including Jamaica, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In a wide ranging presentation which included examples of the use of mathematical models for predicting the outcome of soccer matches between Liverpool and Manchester United to the value of the use of social distancing to combat the spread of Covid-19, Dr Chamberlain held the attendees in rapt attention. The age old question “What is the point of Mathermatics”? was aptly answered by Dr Chamberlain’s presentation as he stated “ Mathematics allows us to understand, to predict and to influence the world that surrounds us.” Dr. Chamberlain expressed that “there is a stereotype that to be good at mathematics you are perfect and solve everything very fast, but that is a myth as “Mathematics is about tenacity and determination.”
In his continuing role as a strong advocate for the discipline of Mathematics, Dr. Chamberlain currently holds the positions of ; President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), UK's chartered professional body for mathematicians and one of the UK's largest learned societies for mathematics, Professional Head of Discipline -Data Science at SNC Lavalin Atkins and Visiting Fellow at Loughborough University.