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Johnny Houston

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Information about Johnny Houston

Profile image of Johnny Houston

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Mathematician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mountains, Water
Favorite Quote:
Life Has Been Very Kind To Me And I Thank God For It.

Birthplace

Born:
11/19/1941
Birth Location:
Sandersville, Georgia

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Mathematician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mountains, Water
Favorite Quote:
Life Has Been Very Kind To Me And I Thank God For It.

Birthplace

Born:
11/19/1941
Birth Location:
Sandersville
See how Johnny Houston is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Mathematician, education administrator, and research director Johnny L. Houston was born on November 19, 1941 in Sandersville, Georgia to parents Bobby Lee Harris and Catherine Houston Vinson. After graduating from Ballard Hudson High School in Macon, Georgia, Houston attended Morehouse College and graduated in 1964 with his B.A. degree in mathematics. Houston received his M.S. degree in mathematics from Atlanta University (Clark Atlanta University) in 1966 and then travelled to Paris, France to study at the Universite de Strasbourg. In 1974, Houston graduated with his Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Purdue University.

In 1975, Houston was appointed as the chair of the Atlanta University Math and Computer Science Department. During a leave period, he served as the Calloway Professor of Computer Science at Fort Valley State University. In 1984, Houston became the vice chancellor of academic affairs and professor of math and computer science at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). He was named senior research professor in the ECSU Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in 1988. Throughout his career, Houston has held several positions as a specialist in mathematics and computer science, including serving as a member National Institute of Health’s MARC Committee from 1980to 1986, a member of the Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America from 1992 to 1995, and as a member of the Human Resource Advisory Group for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute from1993 to1998. In 1996, Houston established the Computational Science and Scientific Visualization (CSSV) Center at ECSU; and, in 2002, he established the African Studies (TLMP) at ECSU. Houston served as the director of both programs until 2008. Houston is a co-founder of the National Association of Mathematicians, Inc. (NAM), and served as NAM’s executive secretary from 1975 until 2000. Houston published The History of NAM, the First 30 Years; 1969-1999 in 2002 and is the author of more than forty books and articles on the science, mathematics, and education

Houston has received several awards and honors, including the University Of North Carolina Board Of Governors Teaching Excellence Award in 1996, NAM’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, and the Purdue University BCC Pioneer Award in 2009. Houston has been included American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who Among Black Americans, Who’s Who in America, and the World Directory of Mathematicians. In 2010, Houston was named professor emeritus at Elizabeth City State University after twenty-six years of service.

Houston is married to Virginia Lawrence. They have two daughters: Mave Talibra and Kaiulani Michelle.

Mathematician, education administrator, and research director Johnny L. Houston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 25, 2013.

See how Johnny Houston is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Johnny Houston's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about his mother and his grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about growing up in the deep South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about his aunts' perception of Elijah Muhammad
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his mother's education and career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about his father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Johnny Houston talks about his relationship with his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Johnny Houston talks about how his parents met and his father's career in the funeral business
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his grandmother's influence on him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his grandmother, her influence in the community, and her employment
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about the black communities in Sandersville, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his interest in how things work and describes living in poverty during his early childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about his experience in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about his passion for learning and his elementary teachers' perceptions of him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Johnny Houston talks about his uncle's service in World War II and the racial tensions of growing up in the South
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his involvement in Springfield Baptist Church while growing up
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about the impact of his grandmother's death
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about his childhood jobs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about his sister's death, his family's move to Macon, Georgia, and living in the projects
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about the demographics of the projects of Macon, Georgia, and his education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his junior high school science teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about his high school English teachers and the importance of communication skills
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about his science and math instruction in high school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his high school math teacher and his math instruction
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his extracurricular activities and working during high school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about graduating from high school, his decision to attend Morehouse College, and his financial hardships there
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about his financial hardships and his quest for work in Hot Springs, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about his experience working at The Homestead luxury resort in Hot Springs, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his favorite vacation destination, Hot Springs, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about his interest in math and science and his chemistry professor at Morehouse College, Henry C. McBay
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his professors, Claude B. Dansby and Henry C. McBay, at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his professors at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about Benjamin Mays - part one
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about Benjamin Mays - part two
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about Shirley McBay
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his memories of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about graduating from Morehouse College and his experience teaching high school mathematics in Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about the professors at Atlanta University Complex, including Abdulalim Shabazz
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his thesis advisor, Lloyd Williams, and the area of topology in mathematics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his decision to study at the University of Strasbourg in France
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about learning French and his experience in France
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about learning French and his travels within the United States
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about his studies and his experience at the University of Strasbourg
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his travels through Europe
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his decision to teach at Stillman College and his experience there
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston describes his first exposure to computers, when he attended an IBM workshop to learn to program in Fortran
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about his memories of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his assassination in 1968
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston describes his experience at the Summer Institute for College Teachers of Math at the University of Georgia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston describes his decision to pursue his Ph.D. degree at Purdue University, and talks about other African Americans who studied there
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his wife, Virginia Lawrence, whom he married in 1969
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about the establishment of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) in 1969, and the reasons for its conception
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston describes the objectives of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM), and the reasons for its conception
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his doctoral advisor, Eugene Schenkman, and his experience as a doctoral student at Purdue University - part one
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his doctoral advisor, Eugene Schenkman, and his experience as a doctoral student at Purdue University - part one
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston describes his doctoral dissertation, titled, 'On the Theory of Fitting Classes in Certain Locally Finite Groups'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston discusses the impact of his doctoral dissertation, titled 'On the Theory of Fitting Classes in Certain Locally Finite Groups'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about how pure mathematics is the forerunner of applied mathematics
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his graduation from Purdue University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about teaching mathematics at the Krannert School of Industrial Management at Purdue University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston describes himself as a computational scientist
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Johnny Houston talks about his decision to become the head of the mathematics department at Atlanta University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about becoming the National Secretary of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) in 1975
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about training faculty at HBCUs to use computers in the 1970s
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston describes his experience at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston describes his experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1979
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about becoming the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Computer Science at Fort Valley State University in 1981
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his appointment as the vice chancellor of academic affairs at Elizabeth City State University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston describes the history of Elizabeth City State University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston describes his contribution towards the computerization of Elizabeth City State University
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his publications on the general applications of mathematics
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston describes the growing application of mathematics and computer science in scientific research
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about the ease of scientific collaboration in the modern age of computerization
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston describes how he became involved in the President's Africa Education Initiative: Sub-Saharan Africa Textbooks Project
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston describes his contribution towards the President's Africa Education Initiative: Sub-Saharan Africa Textbooks Project
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston describes his collaboration with the University of Cheikh Anta Diop while working on the Sub-Saharan Africa Textbooks Project
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston describes the two different phases of the Sub-Saharan Africa Textbooks Project in Senegal
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about teaching students to think critically to solve problems in mathematics - part one
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about teaching students to think critically to solve problems in mathematics - part two
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about the scientific contributions of Benjamin Banneker
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about Elbert Frank Cox, who was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in mathematics
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about Euphemia Lofton Haynes, Evelyn Boyd Granville and Marjorie Lee Brown
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about mathematician, J. Ernest Wilkins
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about the accomplishments of mathematician, David Blackwell
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about African American pioneers in mathematics, and the current occupational trends amongst African American mathematicians
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston describes his contributions to the field of mathematics, and shares his advice for aspiring mathematicians
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston reflects upon his choices
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about the Black Culture Center at Purdue University and the African Studies Program at Elizabeth City State University
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about his family
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about how he would like to be remembered