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Ronald E. Mickens

mathematician, was born in Hampton, Virginia, the son of William Thaddeus Reid, who taught electricity at Hampton Institute's trade school, and Elaine Brown. Albert had a brother, William M., and a sister, Cora Mae. His strong interest in biology and mathematics led him to enroll at Iowa State University, where such joint disciplinary programs were encouraged. After obtaining his bachelor of science degree in 1949, Reid continued at Iowa State in the graduate program for mathematics and biology, but he left for the University of Chicago in 1950. There he studied mathematical biology, mathematics, probability and statistics, and physics, and he served as a research assistant in the mathematical biology program. In 1953 Reid accepted a position as a research associate in mathematical statistics at Columbia University He did not complete the PhD program at Chicago or Columbia because he did not believe that ...

Article

Camille Hazeur

mathematician, computer programmer, and consultant, was born Laura Cheatham on the west side of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the youngest of three daughters of Gertrude Richey and James Hammond Cheatham. Gertrude was born in Williamston, South Carolina, in 1888 to Mary Roberts and Mak Richey, who sent her to the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary (now Spelman College) in Atlanta, Georgia, from grade school through normal school. After receiving her teaching certificate, Gertrude took a job in Anderson, South Carolina, where she married James Hammond Cheatham, son of a wealthy white plantation owner, James Hammond Freeman, and a Cherokee woman named Emma Lenier. Previously married to a man of mixed race named Cheatham, Lenier had a long-established liaison with James Hammond Freeman, with whom she had five children. James Hammond Cheatham unable to take his biological father s name because of concubinage laws was apparently taught ...

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Winifred W. Thompson

Christine Mann Darden is best known for her work as a researcher for NASA, where she was instrumental in conducting research on supersonic aerodynamics and the reduction of the sonic boom in supersonic travel. Darden was a pioneer in the design of supersonic aircraft. She developed several mathematical algorithms as well as devising new wing and nose cone shapes for their aerodynamic and sonic properties. She is in an administrative leadership position, playing a critical role in making decisions at NASA.

Darden was born in Monroe, North Carolina, to Noah Horace Sr., an insurance agent, and Desma Chaney Mann an elementary school teacher She was the youngest of five children At the age of three she went to school with her mother who taught first through fourth grades At the age of four she was enrolled in the first grade After grade school she attended Winchester Avenue ...

Article

Tiffany K. Wayne

aeronautical engineer at NASA, was born Christine Voncile Mann in Monroe, North Carolina, the youngest of five children born to two schoolteachers, Noah Horace Mann, Sr. (a former Latin teacher who later became an insurance salesman), and Desma Chaney Mann Darden credits her success and her early interest in science to her parents emphasis on their children s education She recalls that when she was just three years old her mother began taking Darden and her siblings to classes she taught at the two room schoolhouse across the street from the family home Darden began doing the schoolwork that the other children did and was soon working two grades ahead in school Her father also encouraged his daughter s interest in auto mechanics and fixing things around the house early training for an engineer Because she was younger than her classmates and therefore socially vulnerable her parents sent ...

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Jamane Yeager

computer scientist and mathematician, was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the youngest child of Samuel Bird Easley and Mary Melvina Hoover Disdaining the segregated schools in the South her mother put Annie in parochial school in the fifth grade Easley s mother encouraged her to succeed by telling her that you can be anything you want to be but you have to work at it Johnson 4 Easley went on to become valedictorian of her high school class She then attended the School of Pharmacy at Xavier University in New Orleans Louisiana for two years and worked as a substitute teacher in Jefferson County Alabama before marrying and moving to Cleveland Ohio In Birmingham as soon as Easley turned twenty one she attempted to vote State law however required her to pass a literacy test and pay a poll tax She would later describe the test giver looking at ...

Article

Olivia A. Scriven

mathematician, college professor, and public school reformer, was born Evelyn Boyd, the second of two girls of William Boyd, a blue-collar worker who held various jobs as a custodian, chauffeur, and messenger, and Julia Walker Boyd, a civil servant who worked for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing during the Depression. Granville received her early education in the pre–Brown v. Board of Education era of separate but equal public schools for blacks and whites Despite the dual system Boyd would later insist that she received a quality education in elementary and middle school and later at Dunbar High School one of three public high schools in the Washington D C area designated for black students Dunbar had a reputation for high academic standards and for emphasizing the importance of racial pride and personal excellence Recalling that period Granville writes My generation benefited ...

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Pamela C. Edwards

physicist, space scientist, and mathematician, was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Johnson started attending the local elementary school, but in the 1920s and 1930s, the public school system in White Sulphur Springs did not provide educational opportunities for black children beyond the eighth grade. In a 1997 interview with the Richmond Post-Dispatch, Johnson recalled that her parents were determined to give their children every educational opportunity and moved to Institute, West Virginia—120 miles away—in September of every year so that Johnson and her siblings could attend school. Johnson attended West Virginia State College, where she earned a BS in French and Mathematics and explored her interests in physics. Graduating summa cum laude in 1937, she taught high school and elementary school in southwest Virginia before going to work for NASA.

In 1953 Johnson joined NASA s Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia ...

Article

'Kale Oyedeji

mathematician, theoretical physicist, and university professor, was born in Petersburg, Virginia, the son of Joseph Percivall Mickens, a carpenter, and Daisy Brown Williamson, a house wife. His twin brothers Calvin and Carroll were born a year later on 13 February 1944. As a child, Mickens's interest in mathematics and science was sparked by his maternal grandfather who taught him to read and write, and discussed the nature of science. As a consequence, in high school, he enrolled in all of the available courses in these areas. After graduation from Peabody High School, in 1960, he entered Fisk University where in 1964 he completed a BA in Physics with a minor in mathematics. Mickens continued his education at Vanderbilt University and earned a doctoral degree in Theoretical Physics in August 1968. From 1968 to 1970 he continued his research in high energy ...

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Ann Zeidman-Karpinski

mathematician and university president, was born Dolores Margaret Richard in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Lawrence Granville Richard, a worker in the chemical division of the Exxon refinery, and Margaret Patterson. Spikes attributed her academic success to her father's love of reading and her parents' insistence that she and her sisters attend college. Her father attended primary school and got his general equivalency diploma (GED) after his children graduated from college. Her mother had a little more formal schooling, having completed tenth grade. Spikes attended Southern University in Baton Rouge on a scholarship and graduated in 1957 summa cum laude with a bachelor of science. The following year she attended the University of Illinois at Urbana on a fellowship and earned a master's degree in 1958. Just weeks after graduating she married Herman Spikes a fellow mathematician and a classmate from Southern University They had ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

educator and mathematician, was born in McKamie, Arkansas, the eldest child of Charles W. and Elnora Berry White, who were born and married in Louisiana and moved to Washington, D.C., around 1910. Reed's younger brother Percy was also born in Arkansas in 1909 or 1910, while another son, Melvin, was born around 1914 in Washington, and youngest child Lucille in Washington in 1918.

Initially, his parents moved into a boarding house in the northwest of the city, to be joined later by their two sons. Charles White found work as a messenger and then as a clerk in a government office. Clarence White graduated the District's Dunbar High School and obtained a scholarship to Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he enrolled in 1924. Graduating in 1928 with a bachelor s degree in mathematics and Latin he returned to Washington and resumed living ...

Article

Ronald E. Mickens

mathematician and engineer, was born in Chicago, the son of J. Ernest Wilkins, a prominent lawyer, and Lucile Beatrice Robinson, a schoolteacher with a master's degree. Wilkins developed an intense interest in mathematics at an early age, and with the encouragement and support of his parents and a teacher at Parker High School in Chicago, he was able to accelerate his education and finish high school at the age of thirteen. After graduation, he was immediately accepted by the University of Chicago, where he was the youngest student ever admitted by that institution. Within five years, Wilkins received three degrees in Mathematics, a BA in 1940, an MS in 1941, and a PhD in 1942. He was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 1940 and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, in 1942 While at the university he was university table tennis champion ...