Edray Goins NYT Interview

Yesterday, the New York Times published this article/interview with Edray Goins about “For a Black Mathematician, What It’s Like to Be the ‘Only One’”. (Thanks for everyone who sent us this link!)

Prof Goins made headlines recently for his public explanation of leaving a research university (Purdue) for a liberal arts college (Pomona).

See also our recent post about Dr. Goins JMM lecture.

Someone You Should Know: David Blackwell

David Blackwell

Dr. David Harold Blackwell was born in 1919. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics in 1938, his Master of Arts in Mathematics in 1939, and his Ph.D. in Statistics in 1941, all from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. He was a professor of statistics at University of California at Berkeley until his retirement in 2008. He is the seventh African American to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics.

Dr. Blackwell is also the first and only African American to be a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a President of the American Statistical Society, and a Vice President of the America Mathematics Society. In 1979, Dr. Blackwell won the von Neumann Theory Prize.

Dr. Blackwell was appointed a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study from 1941-1942. As a member of the Institute, he was listed as a visiting fellow of Princeton University. There had never been an African American student or faculty fellow at the university. Dr. Blackwell’s colleagues wanted to extend his appointment at the institute, but the president of Princeton opposed it.

Dr. Blackwell applied to all 105 Black schools in the country at the time, and joined Howard University in 1944. After 3 years, he earned the rank of Full Professor and Chairman. Despite heavy teaching and administrative duties, he published substantial amounts of research, spending summers at the RAND corporation and a visiting professor at Stanford University in 1950-1951. Dr. Blackwell stayed at Howard until 1954 and was appointed Professor of Statistics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he was chairman of the Statistics Department.

For more information about Dr. Blackwell, see his page on Mathematics of the African Diaspora or his Wikipedia page.

Blackface at Universities

Numerous recent and past incidents of blackface have been in the news recently. Here is a very partial list. (Content warning: The links below contain images and language that some readers may find offensive.)

Eastern Virginia Medical School, where VA Governor Ralph Northam’s personal page includes one person in blackface and another in a KKK uniform. (Northam claims that he is not in the picture, though admits to wearing blackface in a dance contest.)

Virginia Military Institute and University of Richmond: blackface in yearbooks

University of Maryland at College Park, George Washington University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Wake Forest University, and Millsaps College

UVA has a history of blackface incidents

University of Oklahoma, blackface video

California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, blackface photographs

AWM at SIAM CSE Meeting

The AWM will host a number of events at the 2019 SIAM CSE Meeting in Spokane, WA, Feb 25 – Mar 1, 2019, including the following.

  • AWM Workshop: Data Science and Mathematics
  • AWM Workshop: Career Panel: Perspectives and Advice from Women in Applied Mathematics
  • AWM Workshop Poster Presentations by Women Graduate Students and Reception

See the AWM at SIAM webpage for more information.

Clemson University Child Development Center Groundbreaking

Clemson will break ground at the future site of the Clemson University Child Development Center, Friday, February 8, 1:45-2:15pm. The center will be an on-campus child care facility and is expected to open in 2020. Some history and information about the center can be found here.

University calendar entry