Arlie O. Petters is a professor of mathematics, physics, and business administration at Duke University. Petters was born in a poor, rural community in Belize. At the age of 13, he emigrated to Brooklyn.
He participated in an accelerated B.A./M.A. program at Hunter College, receiving his degrees in mathematics and physics in 1986. In 1991, he received his Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT. Petters’ research is focused on the development of mathematical theory of gravitational lensing. He is the leading author of the book, /Singularity Theory and Gravitational Lensing/.
Petters also works within Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he deals with finance, social entrepreneurship, and environmentally sustainable STEM business efforts. Petters has given back to the minority community by mentoring numerous underrepresented minority students, faculty, and professionals.
He is highly involved in the Belizean community. In 2005, Petters founded the Petters Research Institute, which works to aid Belizean individuals pursuing work in STEM fields and aiding Belizean national development through environmentally sustainable applications of technology.
In 2008, he was named by the Queen of England to Membership in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire as a result of his exceptional work in research, education, and outreach. In 2010, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Council of Science Advisors to the Prime Minister of Belize.