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James Donaldson

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Information about James Donaldson

Profile image of James Donaldson

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Mathematician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I'm still kickin'.

Birthplace

Born:
4/17/1941
Birth Location:
Madison County, Florida

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Mathematician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I'm still kickin'.

Birthplace

Born:
4/17/1941
Birth Location:
Madison County
See how James Donaldson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Mathematician James A. Donaldson was born in 1941 on a farm in Madison County, Florida as one of eleven children to parents Audrey Brown and Oliver Donaldson. After graduating from high school, Donaldson enrolled at Lincoln University near Oxford, Pennsylvania in 1957 and graduated from there in 1961 with his A.B. degree in mathematics. Donaldson continued his studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his M.S. degree in mathematics in 1963, and his Ph.D. degree in mathematics in 1965.

Upon graduation, Donaldson served as professor of mathematics at Southern University, Howard University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of New Mexico. In addition, Donaldson was appointed as a visiting professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Science at the University of Victoria in Canada, the University of Ferrara in Italy, and Duke University in North Carolina. In 1972, Donaldson was named chairman of Howard University Department of Mathematics. During his tenure there, Donald oversaw the hiring of new tenured-faculty and the development and inauguration of the first Ph.D. degree-granting mathematics program at a Historically Black College and University.

Donaldson has served on committees of several professional mathematics and science organizations. He is a member of the Council of the American Mathematical Society, served as the second vice president of the Mathematical Association of America, and was the editor of the newsletter of the National Association of Mathematicians. Donaldson’s research interests include the history of mathematics and mathematics accessibility issues and he has published more than fifty research papers, articles and presentations in these areas as well.

Donaldson served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, the Sloan Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, several state boards of Education, many mathematics departments, and the District of Columbia Public School System. He received the Lincoln University Alumni Achievement Award in 1986, and was the National Institute of Science’s memorial lecturer in 1989.

James A. Donaldson was interviewed by March 28, 2013.

See how James Donaldson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Donaldson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Donaldson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his mother and her family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Donaldson describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about his father and his work on his family's farm
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his parents getting married in the early 1920s
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about his parents' and his Uncle Enoch's influence on his upbringing and his early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Donaldson describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Donaldson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up - part one
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Donaldson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up - part two
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about the quality of his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about Jeslamb School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about his teachers at Jeslamb School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about listening to the radio while growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his teachers and his academic performance in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his experience in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about his pre-college counseling, graduating from high school, and his father's death
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about his teacher, Mr. Scott, and his interest in working as an electrician
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his visit to Washington, D.C. during high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about being hazed upon his arrival at Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about his preparation for college and his academic performance there
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his clumsiness in the science lab and his decision to major in mathematics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his math studies, his professors, and his peers at Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about his decision to pursue graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about his problems with finding a place to stay upon his initial arrival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about African American mathematicians and his peers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Donaldson explains the concept of differential equations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Donaldson describes an example of a differential equation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about mathematical problems
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his Ph.D. advisor, Ray Langebartel, and his teacher, Professor Dube
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his struggles in graduate school and the nature of research in mathematics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about his experience working at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's (UIUC) Computer Center
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about his experience working at Howard University during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his colleagues and his experience working at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about the Annual Meeting of the American Mathematics Society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about his memories of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and his participation in anti-war protesting
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his decision to leave the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his postdoctoral research at the University of New Mexico
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about returning to Howard University and publishing in the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about being a founding member of the Association for Women in Mathematics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about the development of Howard University's doctoral program in mathematics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about the supporters of Howard University's graduate program expansion efforts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about balancing his responsibilities as chair with his research activities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his mathematical teaching philosophy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Donaldson explains a Cauchy problem as a differential equation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about his organizational affiliations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about the attendees of the First Pan African Congress of Mathematicians
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about his professional activities - part one
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his experience in Italy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about his professional activities - part two
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about Abdulalim Shabazz
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about becoming acting president of Lincoln University and receiving a traveling award from the National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about Patrick Swygert's role in his appointment as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James Donaldson talks about becoming the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about his educational initiatives for Howard University - part one
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about his educational initiatives for Howard University - part two
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his colleague, Jeff Donaldson, and his involvement in developing the Afro-American Studies program
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about Elbert F. Cox and the importance of scientists knowing the history of their field
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about his research interests, and the integration of mathematics and the life sciences
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - James Donaldson reflects upon how he treated his students when he first started teaching
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - James Donaldson reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about his views on research
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - James Donaldson shares his hopes for mathematical-related fields
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - James Donaldson talks about his family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - James Donaldson talks about how he would like to be remembered