Minton is new Capp - Whitehead Professor of Mathematics



SALEM, Va.- Years of working to make mathematics interesting for students, from studying how math impacts golf to how a dog's actions relate to calculus, has helped a Roanoke College professor earn a grant to boost his research.

This spring, Dr. Roland Minton was named the Dr. M. Paul Capp and Constance Whitehead Professor of Mathematics. The five-year award gives funding to an accomplished physics or related faculty member who advances the life of Roanoke College.

Minton, who chairs the college's mathematics, computer science and physics department, said he plans to use the award for his continued research in golf statistics. He also wants to work on a fifth edition of a calculus textbook that he co-authored. The textbook, Calculus, is used in more than 100 colleges nationwide and on every continent except Antarctica.

The chair award "provides a very exciting opportunity to do more and better research with Roanoke College students," Minton said.

He has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master's degree and Ph.D. in mathematics from Clemson University. Prior to coming to Roanoke College in 1986, Minton was an assistant professor of mathematics at Virginia Tech. He has co-authored a series of calculus textbooks for McGraw-Hill. A book that he has written about the mathematics of golf will be published this year.

While at Roanoke, Minton has developed new courses in sports science and chaos theory. He earned the "Exemplary Teaching Award" from Roanoke College in 1998 and the "Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award" from the State Council of Higher Education in 2005.

Dr. Paul Capp, a 1952 graduate of Roanoke College who has had a career in medicine and medical education, is retired as a professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He is also a member of the Roanoke College Board of Trustees and a strong supporter of the institution's academic programs. Although also a graduate of Duke University and the University of North Carolina, Capp calls his Roanoke experience "the most effective of his academic life" because of its liberal arts emphasis.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as one of the "Best 376 Colleges" in its 2012 guidebook, which includes the top nine percent of colleges, and U.S. News & World Report ranks Roanoke the number seven "Up-and-coming National Liberal Arts College."

Released: July 19, 2011
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