Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

one that was not quenched by his daytime research alone. His nightstand always had several books neatly stacked on it, and if you were lucky enough to see it, you would find the latest issue of the New York Review of Books, a classic text on differential equations, a political best seller, and a novel someone had recommended. Toward the end of his life when he knew his time was likely short, he reread his favorite Hemingway novels and commented with typical dryness that they were better than he remembered.

With most activities in his life, he saw connections to his research and work. His love of boats had as much to do with recreation as it did with his lifelong interest in the behavior of water; he saw and tried to understand the functioning of the natural world around him at every turn. His grandson, Aidan, had barely begun to talk when Dudley began explaining vortices in the bathtub and demonstrating the wonders of surface tension in soap bubbles. And the connections from his life to his work flowed the other direction as well. His daughter, Andrea, remembers when she was learning to read scientific equations in high school how he had her help proofread his papers, an activity that not only put her ahead of her classmates but also gave her a window of understanding into his work.

Very few subjects were of no interest to Dudley, and unexplained and unanswered questions interested him the most. His membership and participation at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton provided him with a place to worship and express his faith in God. Dudley enriched the lives of his family, friends, and colleagues. His life was an example of how to live within, as well as bring together the communities of family, work, and religion. Indeed, he celebrated the wonders of this world each day of his life with everyone in his life. In the end, it was this interconnectivity of all things that fascinated him above all and drove him to examine the details in order to better see the whole.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement