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Lloyd Douglas

Mathematician and education administrator Lloyd Evans Douglas was born on October 5, 1951 near the Polo Grounds in New York City. Douglas’ family moved to Brooklyn where he attended Lafayette Public School (now the Eubie Blake School) and Berriman Junior High School (J.H.S. 64) before graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1968. He was awarded a New York State Regents Scholarship and enrolled in the City Colleges of New York where he graduated with his B.S. degree in mathematics in 1972. While there, Douglas earned three varsity letters as a lacrosse player. He then attended graduate school at Miami University and worked as a graduate assistant in the math department and as an assistant coach of the lacrosse team. Douglas received his M.S. degree in mathematics in 1974. Douglas went on to enroll in Boston University’s doctoral program where he studied algebraic coding theory under the late Dr. Edwin Weiss. He was awarded a senior teaching fellowship in the mathematics department and worked as a mathematics tutor in the resident tutor program.

From 1971 to 1976, Douglas worked at the law offices of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae in New York City as a paralegal assistant specializing in litigation. In 1976, he was hired as a mathematician in the U.S. Naval Underwater Systems Center (now called the Naval Undersea Warfare Center) in Newport, Rhode Island. Douglas joined the Trident Command and Control System Maintenance Activity in Newport in 1979 as a computer specialist where he was the on-site representative for the data processing subsystem on the first Trident submarines. From 1980 to 1983, Douglas served as an operations research analyst at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command in Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey.

In 1983, Douglas moved to Washington, D.C. where he was appointed as a computer specialist in the U. S. General Services Administration and in the U.S. Office of Advanced Planning. In those positions, Douglas assisted in conducting technology assessments for automatic data processing and telecommunications throughout all federal departments. In 1984, Douglas joined the National Science Foundation (NSF). While there, he oversaw a large increase in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in the Division of Mathematical Sciences. Douglas was then appointed as the assistant to the Vice President for Research at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2010, he became the associate director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and, in 2012, he has been the associate director of the Office of Contracts and Grants at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Douglas served on numerous committees in the Mathematical Association of America. In addition, he was elected as president of two, the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association and the NSF Employees Association. He received NSF’s Meritorious Service Award in 2007.

Lloyd E. Douglas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 19, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.143

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/19/2013

Last Name

Douglas

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Evans

Schools

P.S. 25

Berriman Junior High School

Brooklyn Technical High School

City College of New York

Miami University

Boston University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Lloyd

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DOU05

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/5/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Greensboro

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Candy

Short Description

Mathematician and education administrator Lloyd Douglas (1951 - ) served as a mathematician for the U.S. Army Communication and Electronics Command and the U.S. Naval Command Center, and as a research director at the National Science Foundation where he was instrumental in expanding the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in the mathematical sciences.

Employment

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of Nevada, Reno

National Science Foundation (NSF)

United States General Services Administration

United States Army Communications and Electronics Command

United States Navy Trident Command and Control System Maintenance Activity

United States Naval Underwater Systems Center

Dewey & Le Bouf, LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:22832,276:23162,282:24020,299:31850,392:33950,420:34895,434:36260,451:39967,491:41830,531:42451,588:55332,736:58248,798:58572,803:60597,839:67710,887:68280,895:71605,949:83547,1123:98761,1372:100327,1395:100762,1401:103981,1454:112552,1514:113128,1569:115648,1666:115936,1762:146530,2076:147010,2082:166164,2437:166428,2442:171401,2474:180626,2586:181161,2592:181696,2598:189969,2679:190237,2684:190505,2689:190907,2696:191443,2710:191979,2719:192515,2777:203070,2841:203520,2847:214576,2986:223385,3093:232270,3265:234500,3286$0,0:2098,23:16728,282:17596,309:18278,322:27358,424:42496,725:43738,744:44083,750:67404,996:68301,1012:87285,1302:92376,1391:92904,1398:101000,1605:106946,1659:108034,1667:112937,1707:115367,1749:116015,1758:129471,1909:132835,1931:133213,1938:143780,2136:144200,2144:148470,2404:176054,2601:177533,2629:180491,2713:180839,2718:181274,2724:182057,2736:187143,2767:190538,2806:191120,2813:200430,2882:208188,2922:216723,3044:220945,3104:222177,3156:228222,3195:228798,3200:235875,3258:239355,3303:239703,3312:240399,3321:241182,3350:249278,3437:254290,3487
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lloyd Douglas' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his mother's immigration to the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his father's education and his employment in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his parents' marriage in 1948

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lloyd Douglas describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lloyd Douglas describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lloyd Douglas describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the Jamaican community in Brooklyn, New York while he was growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas describes his interest in science in elementary school and talks about his father helping him with his studies

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his interests as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the schools that he attended in New York City and his experience in school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his involvement in Christ English Evangelical Lutheran Church

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the political climate in the United States in the early 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his childhood interest in space

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the 1964 New York City World's Fair and the Mobile Economy Run

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his family's infrequent vacations and their trip to Jamaica in 1961

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his desire to attend Brooklyn Tech High School in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas describes his decision to apply to the City University of New York (CUNY), and attend Brooklyn College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the reaction to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at the City University of New York (CUNY)

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas describes his decision to pursue his graduate studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about starting a Ph.D. degree in mathematics at Boston University, and leaving the program to go to work

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at the U.S. Naval Underwater Systems Center

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience with the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience as a computer specialist at the U.S. General Services Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas talks about self-teaching himself computer programming

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas describes his role as the head of the central computer system at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the early 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas discusses the mission and funding mechanisms of the National Science Foundation, and Walter Massey becoming the head of the NSF

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at the National Science Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas discusses the National Science Foundation (NSF)'sfunding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas discusses his role as a program officer in the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the National Science Foundation (NSF) Employee Association and his appointment at the University of Nevada at Reno

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas describes the history of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience in the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience as associate director of the Office of Contracts and Grants at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his service at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas lists the professional organizations where he is a member

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his interest in hockey

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lloyd Douglas describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lloyd Douglas reflects upon the approach to mathematics in the educational system and in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lloyd Douglas discusses his operating philosophy while reviewing grants and the importance of communicating science

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

8$10

DATitle
Lloyd Douglas talks about his family's infrequent vacations and their trip to Jamaica in 1961
Lloyd Douglas describes his experience as a computer specialist at the U.S. General Services Administration
Transcript
Now, did your parents [Calvin Sylvester Douglas and Lurline Isylda Brown] have a chance to go on many vacations in the car?$$No, in fact, they may--went on very few vacations. I think in '59 [1959] we went to Massachusetts. That was, my sister and I and my parents went. I think that's maybe the only vacation that we went on as a family. In '61 [1961] when I went to Jamaica to visit my grandmother, it was just my sister and my mother and I who went. And then we started going to New Jersey, to Asbury Park, and that was my sister and my mother and I who went. And then later, my mother would go to Pennsylvania and go on vacation. So it wasn't, we didn't vacation a lot. My father thought that he was going on vacation every time he left the house. So.$$So from what I gather, he had a keen appreciation of everything that was around him.$$Um-hum, yeah.$$Okay, so, now, your trip to Jamaica in '61 [1961], you would have been like what, nine [years old] or--$$Right, and so that's one of the reasons we went is because, so my sister is a little bit older, a year older than I am, and she--it was because of the airfares, because we could both go for less than adult fare because my sister was still young enough. And so that was the last year. So that was the year that my mother decided that we should go to Jamaica.$$Okay, 'cause if she had waited another year--$$Then my sister would have had to pay adult fare.$$Okay, so, all right, so what impression did Jamaica make on you?$$You know a lot of people go on vacation to Jamaica. I would never go on vacation (laughter) to Jamaica. It was, I mean saw the, you know, all the poverty side. And so that was, that's what struck me the most, you know. See my grandmother had a farm, but it was, there was really, there were dirt floors, and the house was pretty much a shack. And then there was, you know, a barn. And so it was, you know, even though things weren't really wonderful in New York, we lived in a house, and it was, it was a house. You didn't have chickens running in and out of the house and other creatures flying in and things like that. So that was sort of an awakening.$$Okay, so you could understand why your parents left Jamaica?$$Yeah, in fact, that was my father's thing. So people would go back to Jamaica or say they were gonna go back to Jamaica, a lot of Jamaicans (unclear)--maybe a lot of them thought they'd come to the U.S. and they'd make money and then go back. And my father would say, why would you go back? That's the reason you left there. So I think he had been in the U.S. forty years before he went back. And he had relatives there.$$It seems strange to hear that when most people consider it a vacation spot--$$Yeah, exactly.$$--but if you don't have the money there, it's not that much fun.$$Yeah, no.$$Okay, so, well, now, okay, anything else about the World's Fair? Now, but, you know, the trip in '61 [1961] in Jamaica, that's--you're actually going abroad for the first time. Did you learn anything about--$$Right, so that was the first time I had been out of the U.S. There was, as I mentioned before, the money was different, so that was unusual. People, although they supposedly spoke English, my mother had to translate for us. And so that was unusual too.$Okay, now, you started with the GSA [U.S. General Services Administration] in '83 [1983], right?$$Um-hum.$$And what was, how did that come about?$$So, I sort of had gotten back to, also--not back to New Jersey 'cause I hadn't lived in New Jersey, but New Jersey was sort of, it was close to home because it's close to New York, having lived in Ohio and Massachusetts and Rhode Island. And I thought I would just stay there because it was close, but then I started sort of looking at other opportunities, and, you know, a lot of them--being a federal employee, a lot of them were in the Washington, D.C. area, and I sort of resisted for a while, moving to D.C. I said, well, I can always move to D.C. later, and but all the interesting jobs I found were in Washington, D.C. And the job at GSA was the second that I applied for, that, where I was hired over the phone. I had applied for the job. They interviewed me over the phone, and they hired me, and they even told me that they were very reluctant to do that because they had never hired anybody over the phone before, but they, then compared my application to the other applications, they said it wasn't close. And so they, so then I moved to D.C., working at GSA as a computer specialist.$$Well, you know, you hear so many stories about job discrimination of black candidates going to an interview, and when they find out they're black, they won't even interview 'em or that sort of thing.$$Um-hum.$$And then the government's not necessarily--$$Right.$$--at this stage, it's not, isn't known for doing that kind of thing. But here you get two jobs on the telephone (laughter).$$Yeah, (laughter).$$This is fairly lucky it seems, to me. So, now, what did you--you worked for the GSA as a computer specialist, right?$$Um-hum.$$And so were you doing programming for the GSA?$$No, I was actually doing planning. So back then GSA was the government's purchaser. So if you bought anything, you had to go through GSA. So whether you bought pens or pencils or telecommunications systems, you have to go through GSA if you're with the federal government. And so I worked then in office, called the Office for Advanced Planning, and our job was to do--was to look at emerging technology to see where it could be applied throughout the federal government. And that was a really interesting job because you got to do technology--technical analysis, technology assessment, just looking at new technology and seeing where it could be applied.$$Okay, now, this is a time period when the whole computer world is changing rapidly, you know.$$Um-hum.$$Some people are still using mainframes, some people--PCs [personal computers] have come out and--$$Right.$$Just talk about some of the changes and--$$So that was the first time I ever used a PC. It was a Compaq computer, and, you know, it probably has hundredth of the capability that my phone does now. But it was not large in the sense of a mainframe. It was sort of like a desktop now and it was actually things that you could write and program and have it actually do things. So, again, with my interest in computers, I thought that was something that I really enjoyed doing.$$Okay, at this juncture, then, would you--the kind of programming you're doing, I guess would, you know, is PC-based, were you aware of Macintosh [from Apple, Inc.] computers at this point?$$No, no, I wasn't.$$Okay, and was the government--I guess the government was basically PC-based?$$Right, um-hum.

Linda Hayden

Mathematician and research director Linda B. Hayden was born on February 4, 1949 in Portsmouth, Virginia to Linwood Copeland, Sr. and Sarah Vaughn Bailey. She enjoyed math as a child, particularly plotting out functions and determining their characteristics. Hayden attended Portsmouth Public Schools for her elementary and secondary education. After graduating from I. C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Hayden attended Virginia State University and went on to graduate from there in 1970 with her B.S. degree in mathematics and physics. In 1972, Hayden received her M.A. degree in mathematics and education from the University of Cincinnati; and, in 1983, she received her M.S. degree in computer science from Old Dominion University. Hayden earned her Ph.D. degree in mathematics and education from American University in 1988. Her doctoral thesis was titled, “The Impact of an Intervention Program for High Ability Minority Students on Rates of High School Graduation, College Enrollment, and Choice of a Quantitative Major.”

Hayden began her teaching career as an assistant professor of mathematics at Kentucky State University in 1972 where she remained until 1976. Hayden then served an an assistant professor at Norfolk State University. In 1980, she was appointed as an associate professor of computer science at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). While there, Hayden founded, and served as director of, the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER). She was promoted to full professor and named as the associate dean of the ECSU School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology in 2002. In addition, Hayden has served as a research fellow at the Department of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, and as a visiting professor at American University and the University of the District of Columbia.

Her research has been published in national and international journals such as, the Proceedings of the National Science Teachers Association and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer - Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society Joint International Conference Proceedings. Hayden was a founding member of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) and subsequently served as president.

Hayden is a recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Professional Achievement Award as well as the U.S. Black Engineer Magazine Emerald Award for Educational Leadership. In 2009, the National Science Foundation presented Hayden with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education presented her with the NOBLE Laureate Award.

Hayden and her husband, Lee V. Hayden Jr., live in Portsmouth, Virginia. They have one son, Kuchumbi Linwood Hayden.

Linda B. Hayden was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.044

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/25/2013

Last Name

Hayden

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Bailey

Occupation
Schools

Virginia State University

University of Cincinnati

Old Dominion University

American University

First Name

Linda

Birth City, State, Country

Portsmouth

HM ID

HAY13

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Like giving forward.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

2/4/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern, Creole, Indian Food

Short Description

Mathematician and educator Linda Hayden (1949 - ) is the associate dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, and the director of the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research.

Employment

Kentucky State University

Norfolk State University

Elizabeth City State University

Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research

Favorite Color

Green, Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:622,11:910,16:2206,35:2782,47:4294,71:4942,82:5590,93:6958,126:7678,146:8182,165:18928,318:23152,385:31550,464:33750,511:35950,560:36302,565:37622,602:38854,643:71796,867:72111,873:72426,879:80740,958:90180,1060:90530,1066:100616,1185:101344,1194:127577,1422:128593,1431:133352,1452:133808,1457:139175,1518:140854,1541:149280,1698:150136,1717:156058,1807:161105,1892:165109,1975:165494,1981:168805,2055:171346,2107:174880,2116:178875,2186:179810,2208:180490,2220:180830,2225:182530,2266:208076,2497:210122,2532:216850,2571:217264,2581:218851,2631:220093,2657:221473,2744:227130,2774:253284,2870:256326,2930:266382,3121:270092,3173:279386,3260:283210,3305:288232,3365:296402,3520:304680,3565:305286,3572:308121,3600:312333,3660:329214,3824:329642,3832:338948,3889:342646,3972:351414,4091:354372,4156:359058,4219:359394,4224:359814,4230:362334,4299:362754,4306:364350,4448:392080,4716:395114,4770:396590,4796:396918,4803:398640,4841:403265,4908:407542,4984:411414,5023:412602,5105:423030,5268:425505,5329:426180,5359:427980,5409:432855,5536:439240,5570:442810,5652:447520,5684$0,0:2442,29:4074,56:4890,70:5298,77:5774,85:6590,99:10534,174:14191,202:17755,302:18484,313:24438,333:28990,376:29710,389:30010,395:30310,401:33110,425:34210,437:35010,447:37280,456:39394,482:39682,487:39970,492:40762,507:41338,516:41770,523:42418,534:48998,617:50594,645:51014,657:52442,681:52946,688:64909,806:65185,811:65461,816:65737,821:66220,829:70120,900:70660,914:71140,924:72280,952:72760,961:73180,970:74080,995:75160,1015:75820,1029:76360,1040:77260,1056:82355,1101:82985,1108:85610,1142:86450,1151:86870,1156:87290,1161:90175,1181:90587,1186:91720,1198:94267,1212:101240,1285:102740,1298:103460,1309:104000,1318:104360,1323:106340,1354:107420,1370:111108,1407:112116,1414:112980,1432:115200,1442:116496,1473:122112,1601:131048,1646:131612,1653:132646,1680:133022,1685:134620,1710:135090,1716:136970,1733:138098,1751:150324,1804:151247,1847:153874,1901:158246,1950:158774,1960:160292,1989:160886,2003:161414,2012:161678,2017:162338,2031:162998,2042:163592,2052:163856,2057:164120,2062:168840,2076:169215,2082:169515,2087:172140,2104:179670,2119:180990,2132:182310,2152:183080,2161:186780,2187:187572,2201:187932,2207:190092,2245:197528,2302:198200,2312:199124,2325:199460,2330:203517,2357:206380,2385
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linda Hayden's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linda Hayden lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linda Hayden describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linda Hayden describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linda Hayden talks about her father's barbershop

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Linda Hayden talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linda Hayden talks about her parents and siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Linda Hayden describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linda Hayden describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linda Hayden talks about her elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linda Hayden talks about her high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linda Hayden talks about her youth and her interest in mathematical functions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linda Hayden talks about her pre-college counseling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linda Hayden talks about her decision to attend Virginia State University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linda Hayden talks about her peers and professors at Virginia State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linda Hayden talks about her extracurricular interests during college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linda Hayden talks about race and political relations in Virginia during the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linda Hayden talks about moving to Cincinnati, Ohio and her decision to attend the University of Cincinnati

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linda Hayden talks about her experience at the University of Cincinnati

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linda Hayden her experience teaching at Kentucky State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linda Hayden talks about meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linda Hayden talks about her mother's declining health

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linda Hayden talks about her decision to pursue an M.S. degree in computer science

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linda Hayden talks about her friend, Joan Langdon, and her decision to pursue her Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linda Hayden talks about her mentor, Mary Gray, and balancing family life with school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linda Hayden talks about the Saturday Academy at the University of the District of Columbia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linda Hayden talks about the emerging computer science department at Elizabeth City State University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Linda Hayden talks about establishing technological infrastructure at Elizabeth State University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Linda Hayden talks about the grant funding for ECSU's computer science program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Linda Hayden talks about her work with computers and parallel processing

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Linda Hayden talks about the NASA Network Resources and Training Site at ECSU

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Linda Hayden talks about her work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Cairo

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Linda Hayden talks about the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the Geosciences Remote Sensing Society

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Linda Hayden talks about her work at Elizabeth City State University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Linda Hayden talks about the Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Linda Hayden talks about receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Linda Hayden talks about the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Linda Hayden talks about her professional awards and activities

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Linda Hayden reflects on her major accomplishments

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Linda Hayden reflects on her life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Linda Hayden talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Linda Hayden talks about her organizational affiliations

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Linda Hayden talks about women in mathematics

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Linda Hayden talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Linda Hayden describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Linda Hayden describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
Linda Hayden talks about the Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research
Transcript
So, you've been talking about--one question we always ask is about the sights and sounds and smells of growing up. And you've really been doing a good job with that already, without me asking you. But, what are some of the sights and sounds and smells?$$Oh, I remember, I remember the dirt outside of my grandmother's house where we used to draw our little hopscotch, and the color of that dirt being a muddy--kind of a brown. There was no grass. It was just, you know, but it was a hard dirt and it was a good thing. We'd draw--you know, all you needed was a nice piece of glass, and you could draw a nice hopscotch with it. And the color of that dirt... Yeah, I remember when I did see, you know, places where there was glass, like in the backyard. She used to have a fig tree. It was really great, because I love figs. And we'd search for four-leaf clovers in the areas where there was grass growing, always happy when we found one, a four-leaf clover. I remember her kitchen--and Saturday--you didn't cook on Sunday. She always cooked on Saturday. And she would make the rolls, and if there was any bread left over, she'd pat it down and put cinnamon and butter over it. And she'd slice an apple very thin, and she'd just lay it on top of the bread, and we'd have that cinnamon bread like for breakfast in the morning. And that smell--oooh, ahhh, brings back some real memories, that smell of cinnamon bread baking. I remember that she cooked on a wood stove, or a coal stove. In the kitchen, there was one in the kitchen. And there was always a coffee pot sitting on the back of the stove. And that coffee would be, they'd make it in the morning and it would just, you know, first thing you'd smell would be the coffee. And they'd drink it all day long. That would be some pretty strong coffee. And to this day, the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is make some coffee. And people in my house don't drink coffee, except for me. So, I make a half a pot, but every single day I make a pot of coffee. It's just sort of my connection to the world, and it's, yeah, it's decaf. So, it's not the caffeine that gives me, you know, the rush or whatever. It's the warmth that's good and the aroma is good. And I just think it is just kind of my link back to that time. Coffee on the stove, I remember. I remember the nights when we would all sleep in that one bed. It was Grandmama and myself and Aunt Vivian, and sometimes Stephanie. And how we would--if you had to get up at night, then there was no indoor plumbing for a long time. So, there was a jar, a jug, that we'd have to use. And then somebody would have to take that out the next day, of course, in the morning. So, I remember that. Smell--I remember the smell of the lotion that Aunt Vivian used to use, that Jergen's lotion, that I thought was just wonderful. I remember the vanilla ice cream, that whenever Vivian's friend used to come over. And there was a living room that nobody got to play in. I mean, we'd come in the front door and we'd go right through the living room. You didn't stop there. Only visitors got to sit in the living room. But whenever her friend would come over, he'd bring ice cream for Grandma. (laughter). And so, I remember that. I remember her, I remember the sound of the man who used to bring ice. He'd come selling ice, big chunks of ice. When she finally got a refrigerator, you got the ice and put it in there to keep stuff warm [does she mean cold?]. And it was the ice pick that we used to use, you know, to chip pieces off, if we wanted a drink. So, that's pretty clear in my memory. And the feel of that coal heat which was so dense, you know, it was really a heavy, heavy, heat in the family room. The sounds when we'd go out and get that coal and bring it in, and the buckets and the wood, the wood had to be cut also to keep us warm. And then we'd all go upstairs and we... at night. Get up--wouldn't nobody would get--Grandma would get up first. And she'd go down and she would, you know, start the stove up and make a pot of coffee. And then a little later, we'd get up and go down and wash up, because there was some warm water, a kettle of water, where we could wash up then. So, that's what I remember from early days. Now, after that, when Dad [Linwood Copeland Bailey] bought the house, they say, people used to say, well, you know, he was cooking with gas, because he didn't have to cook with coal anymore, he cooked with wood. They had, you know, a gas furnace and (laughter) a gas stove to cook on. So, we didn't have to go through that anymore when we moved to 306 Beechdale Road.$$Now, how old were you when you all moved?$$I was about five or six.$$Okay.$$I was school age.$$So, you went to school in the new neighborhood, right?$$Actually, the school was still downtown that I went to. And so, I would ride down to school with him in the morning and go to school. When I got out of school, I'd go to his barbershop and wait until somebody had, you know, the opportunity to take me back home.$$So, that is interesting, to spend a lot of time in a barbershop, with the discussions that--$$Uh huh.$$Did they clean up their conversation...$$Oh, gosh.$$...when you came in?$$I spent a lot of time in the back room (laughter). Yeah.$$Okay. Because they were--I'm the son of a barber, and I know they would do that--$$Are you?$$--and you'd come in the guys would try to talk, they--$$Yeah, they didn't--$$They'd chastise each other for, you know, for--$$They did not talk dirty around me, no. I don't remember any of that.$$But--$$I remember spinning around in that barber chair a lot, though. That was a fun thing to do. Did you do that? (laughter).$$That's right.$Now, in 2002, you became the director of the Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research.$$Yeah.$$For CERSER, right?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$CERSER started off as a proposal. It was a proposal that I wrote to NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]. They had a solicitation for Centers of Excellence. And the thing is, they wanted the centers to be in institutions where there were, where there was a significant amount of graduate work going on. And we had just been approved for a master's degree program in mathematics, but it didn't start until September. The proposals were due in May or spring. And so, I explained that in the proposal, but it wasn't strong enough to compete with schools like, you know, schools that already had programs well-established. And I tried it one more time with another solicitation for a center, the Center of Excellence for Remote Sensing Education and Research. Although there was a lot of research going on here, there was a lot of integration of that research into education, into these K-12 schools and these other universities, but we didn't have the master's and Ph.D. level programs they were looking for. And so they rejected my proposal. And eventually, I just said, you know what, this idea is bigger than any one proposal. We need to do this, we just need to do this. And so, I was able to get the facility on campus-some--but not all that I needed, but I got some. And over the course of those other small grants--I've been--grants with Navy and NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration]--I've been accumulating some indirect costs funds and just kind of using, saving them. And I said this is a good purpose. And so, we used those funds to buy the carpeting and the furniture and the video equipment, and you know, and just set it up. So, we just did it, and we established that center. And you know, Mr. Luther was encouraging me the whole way. And that's how the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research came about. It was first, two proposals that were rejected. And under that umbrella, we are able to engage partnerships that are focused on coastal, marine, and polar science programs. And those partnerships are both educational and research based. Under the umbrella of CERSER there are a number of programs now that operate, and a lot of good research going on in CERSER.

Paula Hammond

Chemical engineer and engineering professor Paula Therese Hammond was born in 1963 in Detroit, Michigan. Although she grew up wanting to become a writer, Hammond changed her mind after taking a junior high school chemistry class. She was hooked by the idea of using two materials to create a something completely different. After graduating from high school, Hammond attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she obtained her B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1984. She was then hired by Motorola in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she worked for two years. In 1988, Hammond earned her M.S. degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and then returned to MIT to earn her Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering in 1993.

Following a postdoctoral research fellowship in chemistry at Harvard University, where she became interested in surface chemistry, Hammond went on to become a faculty member of MIT. In 2003, she worked as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, focusing on a project that allowed for the creation of polymers that form micelles in water. These isolated packages could be used to assist in drug delivery. Hammond is the Bayer Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering, and serves as its Executive Officer. Additionally, she has participated in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also helped found the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN), whose mission is to help design more functional technology for the nation’s soldiers. Hammond’s research interests include the nanoscale design of biomaterials, macromolecular design and synthesis, and directed assembly using surface templates. In 2010, Hammond made a research agreement with Ferrosan A/S, a pharmaceutical company, to develop a bandage that would use Hammond’s technological innovations in Ferrosan’s collagen bandages. Throughout her career, Hammond has served as a mentor to many graduate and undergraduate students and has published nearly 150 scholarly articles pertaining to her research in chemical engineering. She has also encouraged an increase in the presence of minority scientists and engineers at MIT by chairing the Initiative on Faculty, Race and Diversity.

Hammond has won numerous awards for her work as a scientist and as a professor. She was named the Bayer Distinguished Lecturer in 2004 and the Mark Hyman, Jr. Career Development Chair in 2003. In 2010, the Harvard Foundation awarded her the Scientist of the Year Award at the annual Albert Einstein Science Conference. Hammond has also been named one of the “Top 100 Science Stories of 2008,” by Discover Magazine. Hammond is married to Carmon Cunningham, and they have one son, James.

Accession Number

A2012.218

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/9/2012

Last Name

Hammond

Middle Name

T

Schools

Georgia Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Paula

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

HAM04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Science informs....

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

9/3/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Chemical engineer and engineering professor Paula Hammond (1963 - )

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Georgia Technical Research Institute

Motorola, Inc.

Dow Chemical Company

Favorite Color

Intense Colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paula Hammond's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond talks about her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond talks about her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond talks about her mother studying nursing at Howard University and Wayne State University

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond talks about her father's background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paula Hammond talks about her father's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond talks about her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond talks about her brothers, Gordon Francis Goodwin and Tyehimba Jess

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond recalls her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond talks about growing up in northwest Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond remembers the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond talks about Motown and the music of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paula Hammond talks about her early school days

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond talks about her most memorable teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond discusses her early aspirations to become a writer

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond describes the cultural changes in Detroit, Michigan and increasing gang activity

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond talks about her decision to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond talks about studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond talks about the professors that mentored and inspired her

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paula Hammond talks about meeting her husband, John Hammond

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paula Hammond talks describes the discrimination she faced while working at Motorola in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond talks about working at Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond talks about her doctoral studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond talks about her post-doctoral research at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond talks about her return to Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond describes her current research concerning the directed assembly of nanomaterials

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond discusses the practical application of her research

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paula Hammond talks about liquid crystalline and block polymers

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Paula Hammond talks about dendritic block copolymers and tissue engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Paula Hammond talks about the use of biomaterials in the human body

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paula Hammond discusses nanoparticle drug delivery and other discoveries

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paula Hammond talks about her honors and awards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paula Hammond talks about her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paula Hammond gives advice to young minority students of science

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paula Hammond reflects on her career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paula Hammond shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paula Hammond talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paula Hammond tells how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
Paula Hammond describes her current research concerning the directed assembly of nanomaterials
Paula Hammond discusses nanoparticle drug delivery and other discoveries
Transcript
All right. Now, since you've been here, professionally you've been involved with--and I'm going to ask you to explain some of these things.$$Yes. Sure.$$It seems that we have a menu of your--of the areas you concentrate in.$$Oh, sure. And I can help you narrow them too, if some of them are--some may be more important than others, you know.$$$$Okay. Well, what about macromolecular design and synthesis?$$All right. That just refers to the fact that we make new polymers. We actually, in my group, have a couple of different skill sets. One of them is what you just described. We can, understanding the function that we want a polymer system to have, design the polymer to do what we anticipate it needs to do. So, we actually use synthetic chemistry as a tool in that case to make a new material system that will do what, you know, the desired function.$$Okay. Now, I don't know if it's time to talk about this or not, but this is--I guess this what you--this is the core of what you're doing now. I guess, it's you're using-- you're doing nanomaterials--$$That's right.$$--where you're able to layer different compounds together and make new materials.$$That's right. Exactly. And, in fact, that's the other skill set that we use. We put that all in the category of self-assembly or directed assembly. We take a material that has a certain interaction with another material, and in a controlled fashion, assemble a new structure from those two systems, two or more systems. Sometimes even one singular system can undergo soft assembly. In this case it's two systems. We're taking a positively and negatively-charged material and alternating them. And, in doing so, we create nanoscale layers, and we build these materials nano layers at a time, and we can put different material systems into different layers. With that level of control, we can design a material system from the bottom up, and determine what function exists, and how it will function based on what we incorporate into the film.$$Okay. And this is--the final product is a thin film, right?$$The final product is a very thin film, sometimes as thin as a few (tenths?) of nanometers; sometimes as thick as microns. And, we can actually coat a very broad range of things, very large structures as large as--well, there's no limit. It essentially can be--very large structures can be coated or very, fine, tiny structures and features can be coated. So, we can coat everything from a nano particle that's used for drug delivery, to an electrode that is used in electrical chemical energy applications, to a very large surface that is used as an optical reflector for an antireflective surface for a large glass structure, for example.$$Okay. So, this is what you mean by self-organized polymer systems?$$Yes. That's one of the ways in which we generate self-organized polymer systems. The other is to use that synthetic tool to create a molecule that assembles with itself in water, and we make some of those systems as well. They assemble into micellar particles, small nanoparticles when they're in water, based on hydrophobic or water hating and hydrophilic or water-loving segments.$$Okay. Okay. What about alternating electrostatic layer-by-layer assembly?$$Yes.$$That's what you just described.$$That's what I just described.$$Okay.$$Layer-by-layer assembly. The automated pieces that we--the process I was describing originally was done by dipping and allowing time for the material to absorb it to go on time. We developed an automated approach that sprays these systems one after the other, and we can generate the films much faster. One of my students invented this approach. We patented it, and we actually have a company he founded called, Svaya Nanotechnologies in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded in 2009, and it's in its third round of funding right now. And he's the one who's coating things that are as large as this table or long, rolled, reel-to-reel pieces of film, using the layer-by-layer technique.$All right. Now, what have been, I guess, your career research highlights? I know--now, you teach and do research, right?$$I teach and do research. That's right. I would say some of the career highlights include some of our more recent work, including nanoparticle drug delivery work that we've been doing. We've been able to find, very recently in our lab, a way to generate RNA, which is the mechanism we can use to turn off bad genes that can cause disease or promote disease in a way that is very unique. It allows us to deliver a large amount of RNA in a nanoparticle without causing toxic side effects, which are common with other methods of RNA encapsulation. So, that's something I think is a highlight, and we just published the work last year. Some of the earlier highlights include the work that we've done in designing these layer-by-layer films to release different drugs at different times, and it's something that we've been able to demonstrate with simple systems, but we're now trying to make more advanced films so that you can, for the implant example, release antibiotics, get rid of any infection, and release the growth factors to bring in these new healthy cells to the body.$$Okay. Now, we were reading about a partnership--well, a research agreement that you all made with--that MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] made with Farrosan.$$Oh, yes. That's right. This is with the sponge that stops bleeding, essentially. And we, actually, from that work developed a coating that can be released or deployed very rapidly. And that's another very recent highlight in our work, which we hope will, ultimately, be licensed, and used--deployed to the Army.$$Okay. That's exciting stuff. Now, you're written over 150 articles or maybe more by now. I know this is an old project.$$Oh, yes. Yes. It's a little over 200 now, but it's close (laughs).

Wendell Hill

Physicist and Professor Wendell T. Hill, III was born in 1952 in Berkeley, California to Wendell Hill, Jr. and Marcella Washington Hill, who met at Drake University in the 1940s. In the 1960s his father was the Chief Pharmacist at in the Orange County Medical Center, now the University of California Irvine Medical Center, and finished his career as the dean of Howard University’s College of Pharmacy in the 1990s. Hill III’s mother was a mathematics teacher who finished her career at the University of the District of Columbia. Hill III graduated from Villa Park High School in Orange, CA in 1970. He earned physics degrees from the University of California, Irvine (B.A., 1974) and Stanford University (Ph.D., 1980), where he was an IBM pre-doctoral fellow.

Hill was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) from 1980 to 1982, after which he joined the faculty of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) at the University of Maryland. In 1985 Hill was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Young Investigator Award, now known as a Presidential Early Career Award. Holding appointments in Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, Hill became a full professor in 1996 and a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute in 2006. Hill has guest-worker status at NIST and Lawrence Livermore National Lab and has held visiting positions at the Université de Paris, Orsay in France, the Instituto Venezalano de Investigaciones (Venezuela) and JILA (University of Colorado). He directed the Laboratory for Atomic, Molecular & Optical Science, and Engineering at the University of Maryland between 1999 and 2002 and was the Program Director of the Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) Physics program at NSF from 2010 to 2012.

Hill’s research focus is laser-matter interaction under extreme conditions – ultra-fast, ultra-intense and ultra-cold. Hill has written numerous scientific articles within AMO physics, co-authored the textbook entitled Light-Matter Interaction that explains the underlying principals of AMO research and penned the opening chapter entitled “Electromagnetic Radiation,” for the Encyclopedia of Applied Spectroscopy.

Hill is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) as well as an active member of the Optical Society of America (OSA). He has served on numerous society committees including the APS Council and Executive Board, the APS Division of Laser Science executive committee, and the OSA Technical Council; he has chaired the National Academy of Science’s Committee on AMO Science along with several program and award committees. His interest in improving the diversity in physics has him serving on the National Advisory Board of the APS Minority Bridge Program; the goal of the program is to increase significantly the number of “underrepresented minorities” earning a physics Ph.D. over the next decade.

Professor Hill and Patricia, his wife, live in Maryland and have three children, Nayo, Eshe and Safiya.

Professor Wendell T. Hill, III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.226

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/12/2012

Last Name

Hill

Maker Category
Middle Name

T

Occupation
Schools

Peralta Junior High School

Taft Elementary School

Burnside Elementary School

Villa Park High School

University of California, Irvine

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Wendell

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

HIL14

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

Have fun and be safe.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/21/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mexican Food, Spicy Food, Fish

Short Description

Physicist Wendell Hill (1952 - ) was known for his extensive research in atomic, molecular and optical physics at the University of Maryland.

Employment

University of Maryland, College Park

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

University of Colorado

Favorite Color

Los Angeles Dodgers Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wendell Hill's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his mother's educational background and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill describes his father's family background and their relation to Fredrick Douglass - part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill describes his father's family background and their relation to Fredrick Douglass - part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about how his parents met and his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his earliest memory of Southern California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his brother and childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his childhood church, friends and social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his nursery and elementary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his parents' involvement in his schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill compares the demographics of Los Angeles with that of Orange County

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about his parents' move to Orange County, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about the racial tensions in Orange County

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his early academic struggles

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his science preparation during his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about Disneyland and Knott Berry Farm during his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his interest in rockets, space exploration, and solar eclipses

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his family activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his favorite high school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about his interest in baseball

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about Martin Luther King's assassination, the demographics of his high school and his grades

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his attempt to connect with the Black community through music

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his struggle to integrate into the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his struggle to integrate into the black community and his religious development

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his involvement with the black community at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about reconciling science and religion

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his studies at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his professors at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill reflects on his experience at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his advisors at Stanford University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his dissertation in the area of laser physics and how he met his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his religious identity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill discusses the varying religious affiliations of scientists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his post-doctoral work at the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his decision to join the faculty at the University of Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about the economic disparities between underdeveloped countries and developed countries- part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about the economic disparities between underdeveloped countries and developed countries, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his visiting appointments in Maryland and Paris

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his transition into teaching

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his work with cold atoms at the University of Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his professional activities at the University of Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about the Joint Quantum Institute and his textbook, "Light-Matter Interaction"

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his research - part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his research - part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his students and the reception of his book

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about the need for more African Americans in STEM

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill reflects on his life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill reflects on his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$5

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Wendell Hill talks about his professional activities at the University of Maryland
Wendell Hill talks about his post-doctoral work at the National Bureau of Standards
Transcript
You became a full professor here in '96' [1996], I take it, that's right?$$Sounds about right, yeah.$$Okay, alright, so in 1999, you became the director of the laboratory for Atomic Molecular and Optical Science and Engineering.$$Yeah, we had a, we had a small lab that no longer exists now. There was, several of us, we got together, and we formed this lab, and this was a way for us to sort of work together. At the time, there was much less atomic, molecular and optic physics on this campus. It's much broader now and much larger than it was then. And so, those of us working in that area tried to form this lab together and so I was, I was, I guess the second director of that. And, but it, it sort of, I mean we had a little group, but then we all started going our separate ways. And so that, that lab no longer exists now. The thing that, it's more along the lines that we were trying to start then is this, this Joint Quantum Institute that, that currently exists. But it was, it was a way to bring the atomic physicists and atomic, molecular, optical physicists together.$$Okay, so, but, okay, Joint Quantum Institute doesn't start till about 2006, right?$$Yes, right, right.$$So, so this, so did this ever last, the atomic molecular optical science lab last for ten years or--$$No, no, no. It, that probably lasted, oh, another three or four years after--probably about three years that we actively worked together. And then we all sort of started going different ways. I mean we put the book together. My, we wrote a book, and so some of us who were in that lab put the book together. We actually, there's a two-volume book. Four of us together wrote these two volumes. So Chi Lee and I--Chi was in electrical engineering. He was part of this lab. He and I wrote the second volume at the time. There's a guy in, in chemistry, John Weiner, who was the first director of this lab. And a guy, another guy in engineering, Ping Tong Ho wrote the first volume. And so this two-volume set came out of that, that laboratory. And they're sort of textbooks designed for first-year graduate students, sort of upper division undergraduates to, on atomic, molecular and optical physics.$$Okay, now, in, was it around 2006 that you initiated the collaboration between University of Maryland and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory? Is that true?$$It was probably before that. I'm trying to think of when we started. Yeah, it may have been the mid-2000s. Yeah, I have a colleague. We used to go to, we, we first met at, at the, one of the annual meetings of the society of, National Society of Black Physicists. And we'd always say, oh, we should do something together. And so we, we did, we, we said these things for a number of years. And then some money became available and so we put in a proposal and got funded. And so I sent a student out to, to work with him. So, yeah, it was in mid-2000s, I guess, that, that came about. And so, yeah, we, collab--I collaborated out there, and the student is still writing his thesis. And so we still sort of have a loose collaboration, and if we find the right student, we'll continue that.$Oh, okay, alright. Alright, so, alright, so post-doctoral studies. Now, you--$$Okay, post-doc, so okay. I came to, and my wife and I decided that-we, we had sort of this binary problem where she was, had just gone to the J school, the Journalism school at Columbia [University], and so she was, wanted to be a journalist. And so we had a couple of options. She was working at a, a news service in the Bay area, "Bay City News Service" was the name of it at the time. And so we could either go--well, we were looking at three different options, going to, going to Bell Labs area, which would be, you know, either in Murray Hill or Homedale, New Jersey, going to, coming here to Washington, D.C., what was then the Bureau of Standards, now NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] or going to Chicago where I had an offer from a guy named Charlie Rhodes who was at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He used to be at SRI which used to be called Stanford Research Institute, but it was split off from Stanford back in the '70's [1970s] because of, they did do some classified stuff. So it just assumed the name SRI. So he moved from SRI there. So I knew who he was and knew some of the people who worked with him. And so I got invited to come there. We ultimately ended up choosing to come to Washington because my parents, who spent seven years in Detroit--my father at Wayne State [University] and at Detroit General Hospital, then moved to Howard [University] to become the dean of the pharmacy school there. And so having not lived with my parents for almost ten years, I thought--lived near my parents for almost ten years, we thought well, it would be kind of fun to be close to them. We fully intended to go back to California within a couple of years, and so that two-year period hasn't come up yet, 'cause we--that in 1980 when we first got here (laughter). So I came here. I, I did a post-doc. I was what was known as a National Research Council post-doc at, at Bureau of Standards and worked when they, out at the facility here in Gaithersburg [Maryland], and so I did a lot of laser spectroscopy type things there. And from there I went on to, to the University of Maryland because again, we had this binary thing that my wife, during my post-doc years had a job. And so I didn't wanna displace her and Washington is a good place to get both of us working at the same time. So we decided that, well, you know, maybe I should just, at least for the time being, try to get, launch my career here at Maryland. And so I came over here. I had, had an offer here to, to work. So.$$So you were in the National Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, right?$$In Gaithersburg, that's correct.$$Okay, now, what were you working on at the Bureau of Standards?$$Well, I was in what's known as the Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy group or, or, I guess it was part of the radiation physics division. And so they had a technique, two, two gentlemen who hired me basically, had a technique for looking at spectroscopy of ions. And they did this by taking a laser and creating this long column of ions, which is very, highly unusual. And so that opened up a whole area of being able to do spectroscopy on species that you couldn't do before. And so my, my thesis topic, which was basically doing things that you couldn't do before on species because of a technique, this was another technique. So I worked on that technique and, and worked on a variety of experiments along those lines. So, again, doing sort of spectroscopy, this time on ions, and which you couldn't do absorption, absorption spectroscopy on ions before 'cause you'd never get enough of them in one spot to do that. So, that was what I've done. And then I started developing new techniques as I was thinking of moving on to, to Maryland. I missed looking, using continuous wave lasers, which is what I did all my thesis work on, continuous wave lasers. These lasers added, were repulsed lasers. And, and so I started doing techniques which got me back toward doing continuous wave lasers which is sort of what I'm doing now.

Raymond L. Johnson

Mathematician Raymond L. Johnson was born on June 25, 1943 in Alice, Texas, a small town near Corpus Christi. He was raised by his mother Johnnie Johnson, his maternal grandmother Ethel Pleasant Johnson, and her second husband Benjamin Thompson. Growing up, it was Benjamin Thompson who taught Johnson how to read and do some arithmetic. This sparked an early interest in mathematics and allowed Johnson to skip the first two grades. Johnson attended a two room schoolhouse because the nearby grade school was segregated. With the help of his mentors, Larry O’Rear and Stan Brooks, Johnson excelled in high school mathematics. He went on to major in mathematics and received his B.A. degree from the University of Texas in 1963.

Once again, with the help and encouragement of a great mentor, Dr. Howard Curtis, Johnson applied and became one of the first African Americans to be admitted to Rice University. Two alumni sued the university to stop Johnson’s entrance, but within the year, Rice University won the case. Johnson became a regular student, graduating with his Ph.D. degree in mathematics in 1969. After college, Johnson started his forty year career at the University of Maryland in College Park, becoming the first African American faculty member in the mathematics department. He began as an assistant professor in 1968 and became a full professor in 1980.

Johnson served as chair of the graduate studies department at the University of Maryland from 1987 to 1990. As chair, he founded several programs to eliminate barriers for minority students and to help increase the number of minorities and women in the Ph.D. program in mathematics. He received a Distinguished Minority Faculty Award for his work. Johnson was promoted to chair of the mathematics department in 1991, a position he held for five years. Johnson’s mathematical work has focused in the area of harmonic analysis, the study of overlapping waves, which has roots in functions related to trigonometry. He has contributed to over twenty-five publications on mathematics research. Johnson’s current research focuses on applying harmonic analysis to study spectral synthesis. In 2007, Johnson was honored with the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2009, Johnson returned to Rice University to serve as a visiting professor. He has one son, Malcolm P. Johnson.

Raymond L. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 17, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.193

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/17/2012

Last Name

Johnson

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

L

Schools

Dubose Intermediate

Carver Elementary

William Adams High School

University of Texas at Austin

Rice University

First Name

Raymond

Birth City, State, Country

Alice

HM ID

JOH41

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe

Favorite Quote

Don't look back. Someone might be gaining on you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

6/25/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Mathematician and math professor Raymond L. Johnson (1943 - ) led the way for minority scientists by breaking through barriers and serving as a mentor. He is known for his research on harmonic analysis and spectral synthesis.

Employment

University of Maryland, College Park

Rice University

Howard University

ESSO PRDD RES

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:3932,40:4336,45:14248,198:19240,343:19752,358:20584,383:20904,389:22056,421:22696,432:24360,479:24744,493:30828,557:31158,563:31554,574:35646,666:38484,724:46572,844:47694,884:53080,986:53610,1007:53875,1013:54140,1020:54511,1028:54935,1039:55147,1045:56419,1075:57691,1113:81970,1481:83570,1658:84210,1667:95362,1799:101581,1831:118144,2186:118540,2193:119002,2202:119464,2228:120784,2262:121048,2267:122038,2288:122830,2303:123424,2327:128638,2480:139286,2623:139700,2645:147840,2757:148980,2776:150360,2889:161820,3154:162900,3179:163560,3194:173308,3287:185697,3529:189055,3613:191318,3650:192048,3663:193143,3683:193654,3696:204320,3836$0,0:3165,82:5960,168:8040,231:9470,259:9730,264:10185,272:10965,290:12785,337:22852,541:25690,605:30178,755:30838,768:37690,817:38950,861:40750,921:42790,1016:43210,1026:47784,1077:48894,1097:49264,1103:49782,1112:50078,1117:50522,1130:50966,1137:53260,1188:55110,1233:55776,1247:56220,1259:59402,1327:59698,1333:59994,1339:69124,1467:69392,1472:74350,1648:76628,1680:80715,1803:82591,1841:82993,1848:83395,1855:83998,1871:85070,1934:97691,2107:98160,2120:98562,2127:101175,2184:102314,2215:114356,2436:115742,2467:117656,2513:119372,2556:123080,2571:127505,2682:129155,2718:129455,2723:131255,2753:131555,2758:136560,2848
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Raymond Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Raumond Johnson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Raymond Johnson describes his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Raymond Johnson describes his mother's life in Alice, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Raymond Johnson discusses similarities and differences from his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Raymond Johnson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Raymond Johnson describes growing up in Alice, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Raymond Johnson describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Raymond Johnson describes his family in Alice, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Raymond Johnson describes his early school-days

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Raymond Johnson describes his experience in a newly-integrated school system

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Raymond Johnson describes growing up during segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Raymond Johnson discusses the sports heroes of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Raymond Johnson describes those who influenced his decision to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Raymond Johnson describes his experience in high-school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Raymond Johnson describes his experience at the University of Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Raymond Johnson describes his experience with the American Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Raymond Johnson describes the mentorship he received in high school and college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Raymond Johnson describes the post-Sputnik climate in the United States

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Raymond Johnson shares pleasant memories from the University of Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Raymond Johnson describes the summer of 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Raymond Johnson describes his first year at Rice University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Raymond Johnson shares his thoughts on the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Raymond Johnson describes his relationship with NFL player, Frank Ryan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Raymond Johnson describes his experiences at Rice University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Raymond Johnson describes his experience with his graduate advisor, Jim Douglas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Raymond Johnson describes his Ph.D. dissertation research

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Raymond Johnson describes his transition from graduate school to his first job

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Raymond Johnson describes the tension following Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Raymond Johnson describes his experience at the University of Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Raymond Johnson describes his brief experience at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Raymond Johnson describes his service as the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Raymond Johnson describes his service as the chairman of the mathematics department

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Raymond Johnson describes collaboration among African American mathematicians

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Raymond Johnson discusses prominent African American mathematicians

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Raymond Johnson talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Raymond Johnson talks about the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Raymond Johnson talks about the first generation of African American mathematicians

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Raymond Johnson reflects upon his legacy at the University of Maryland and at Rice University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Raymond Johnson describes one of his successes as a mentor

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Raymond Johnson discusses meeting Ron [Ronald] Walters

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Raymond Johnson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Raymond Johnson discusses his concerns for African American mathematicians

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Raymond Johnson describes his relationship with Freeman Hrabowski

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Raymond Johnson talks about his son

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Raymond Johnson's reflects upon how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Raymond Johnson describes his experience in high-school
Raymond Johnson describes his experience in a newly-integrated school system
Transcript
Okay, now, I don't wanna get you out of high school yet.$$Okay.$$But we'll go back to, to high school [at Williams Adams High School, Alice, Texas] for a second. Now, did you, were you involved in clubs and stuff in high school or run for student government or--$$No, not for student government. But I was involved in clubs. So this is the National Honor Society, 'cause I mean I think that was, I don't know what the conditions were for getting in it, but, you know, I was a member of the National Honor Society. And that's where I met like, you know, other people who were very, very smart and who also were very competitive. I mean, you know, I remember the competition for valedictorian, for example, of Alice High School. I was not involved in the competition, but I was observing it. And, you know, having people sort of take easy classes and try to make sure they could keep their grade point average up and have a better chance of being valedictorian. I mean I remember that was sort of the first time I learned about, you know, that sort of social aspect of learning. I thought you just went to school and you did the best you could and, you know, and you graduated, and then you go on and keep doing the best you can. But there were actually these people who were competing to be valedictorian.$$Okay, and--$$And they were all in National Honor Society.$$And strategizing what kind of class they're gonna take to--$$Yeah, yeah.$$--to get there.$$--to make sure that they had the highest GPA [Grade Point Average].$$Okay,--$$And no socializing. I mean, you know, I don't remember prom, you know, or anything like that. But did go to the football games for the Alice Coyotes, you know, football team. It was a long walk, but, you know, it was worth it. And socializing in that sense.$$Okay. So the foot--the high school was named William Adams--$$William Adams, yeah, and the Alice Coyotes was the football team.$$Okay, so they, okay, all right. So they called the football team, not the Adams' Coyotes, but the Alice Coyotes?$$The Alice Coyotes.$$Okay (laughter), all right.$$It was for the whole city.$$All right. Now, football is, when you think of football, people think of Texas for some, you know, some reason.$$Yep, Friday night.$$High school, Friday night lights and all that sort of thing. So what, was it really big in Alice?$$Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, well, first of all (laughter), there's nothing else to do in Alice, okay. So, I mean it was really big, and, you know, for a kid like me who didn't have any money, I mean getting into the game was non-trivial. I climbed a fence a few times to get into the game, but sometimes after halftime, they'd sort of let you into the game. So, you know, we, it wasn't, I don't remember like them saying, okay, because you go to, here, here's a free pass because you're a student at Alice High School. I mean there was supposed to be like a two dollar or dollar charge or something like that. So sometimes I'd just go to the game and wouldn't actually get to see the game. But the team, you know, I think they competed for the state championship. They had some very good players. I don't, don't remember their names or exactly how well they did, but they, they had a very good football team.$$Okay, any players make--$$The only one I remember, I think was a quarterback named Len Baillets (ph.), but, you know, I don't think he did very much in college or anything like that, but he was the star of the Alice football team.$$Okay, all right, so when you graduated, did you, did they tell you what rank you were or anything?$$You know, I was, I was the top ten. But that's all I remember. And, and that was the last graduation I attended. So I actually did go to my graduation in high school.$$Okay, but you didn't go to any of the rest of 'em?$$Nah.$Okay, yeah, tell us, now, what happened next in school now? You're, you're--$$So after eighth grade, Alice [Texas] didn't have enough black students, and so the Alice school district had an arrangement with the Kingsville [Texas] school district. So grades nine through twelve were bused from Alice to Kingsville which is twenty-eight miles, and I knew classmates who had ridden the bus and had gone to school in Kingsville. And I was looking forward to it 'cause in a sense, it's a chance to get out of Alice, at least for a, for a day, every day. But 'Brown versus Board' was decided, and the Alice school district decided to live up to it, accept 'Brown versus Board'. So I spent ninth grade in DuBoise [DuBoise Junior High School, Alice, Texas], which is the first time I'd gone to an integrated junior high school, I mean it was junior high school at that time. So you just went for ninth grade, and then high school was William Adams [Williams Adams High School, Alice, Texas], grade ten through twelve, which was also integrated.$$Okay.$$DuBoise was-I was, it was lucky for me in the sense that the main thing that I recall that happened to me at DuBoise was they discovered that I couldn't see. You know, in Alice, in this two-room school, the boards were very close, and so, you know, it was a very small room, four, four, four grades cramped into one room. So I didn't have any problem seeing everything. But then when I went to DuBoise, you're in this classroom, and, you know, there's thirty seats in a room and the board up at the front. And I couldn't see. So I got glasses, and that I think (laughter) helped a lot 'cause that meant I could see what was actually going on in class.$$Do you remember how you discovered, how, how it was discovered you couldn't see?$$No, I don't remember, but, you know, somehow I, I wasn't seeing what was on the board, and so they, they sent me, they told my, told my mother that I need to have an eye test. I had an eye test, and they discovered I needed glasses.$$So the teacher noticed it.$$Yeah, the teacher noticed it.$$Okay, all right. So, what was the racial makeup of--after integration for, I guess, DuBoise?$$You know, two or three blacks in a class of thirty, yeah, yeah, 'cause we, we were, it was a--there was a tight-knit black community, but it was very small. It was very small.$$Okay. And there wasn't a lot of rancor or problems, I guess, would you say?$$There was some resentment, you know. There were some kids who muttered some things and stuff like that, but, you know, mostly, it was uneventful. Let's say it like that. I mean, you know, the black kids would hang together, and the white kids still hung together. So it, it was more like two separate worlds that were colliding but really not paying much attention to each other. That's the way I recall it.

George Langford

Biologist and academic administrator George M. Langford was born on August 26, 1944 in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina to Lillie and Maynard Langford. Langford excelled at math in high school and was fascinated by the shapes and structures found under the microscope. He studied biology at Fayetteville State University earning his B.S. degree in 1966. Despite the lack of laboratory facilities, Langford had good mentors who persuaded him to attend graduate school. He earned his M.S. degree in 1969 and his Ph.D. degree in 1971, both in cell biology from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He finished his postdoctoral training in 1973 from the cell biology program at the University of Pennsylvania as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fellow.

In 1973, Langford joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts as a professor of cell biology and conducted research at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in 1976. He continued his career in academia, teaching at Howard University in 1977 and joining the faculty of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1979. He was promoted to a full professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1988. Langford’s research focused on the nerves of invertebrates as well as cellular motility. He was honored with an appointment to the National Science Foundation (NSF) where he served as director of cell biology from 1988 to 1989. In 1991, Langford joined the faculty of Dartmouth College as the Ernest Everett Just Professor of Natural Sciences and a professor of biological sciences where he remained until 2005. Between 2005 and 2008, Langford was employed at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Distinguished Professor of Biology. In 2008, he was engaged by Syracuse University as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Langford holds memberships in many nationally prominent professional societies including the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Corporation of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA and the Society of Sigma Xi. He served on the National Science Board (NSB) from 1998 to 2004, where he served as chair of the Education and Human Resources Committee and the Vannevar Bush Award Committee. Langford has been recognized numerous times for his work including the Illinois Institute of Technology Professional Achievement Award and the American Society for Cell Biology Ernest Everett Just Lectureship Award. Langford received an honorary Doctorate from Beloit College in 2003. He is married to Sylvia Langford and they have three children.

George Langford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 6, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.165

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/6/2012

Last Name

Langford

Middle Name

Malcolm

Schools

Potecasi Graded School

W.S. Creecy High School

Fayetteville State University

Illinois Institute of Technology

University of Pennsylvania

Beloit College

Woodland Elementary

First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

Halifax

HM ID

LAN08

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

C'est la vie.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/26/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Syracuse

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Apples

Short Description

Cell biologist and academic administrator George Langford (1944 - ) is an expert on cell motility and served as a dean at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Syracuse University

Employment

Syracuse University

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Dartmouth College

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Howard University

University of Massachusetts, Boston

University of Pennsylvania

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Marine Biological Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George Langford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George Langford lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George Langford describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George Langford talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George Langford talks about his mother's growing up in Potecasi, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George Langford describes his mother's remarkable skills as a farmer and a homemaker

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George Langford describes his father's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George Langford describes his father's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George Langford talks about his father attending high school, and his paternal family's reputation as merchants and tradespeople

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - George Langford discusses the history and demographics of Potecasi, North Carolina, and talks about Nat Turner and the slave revolt of 1831

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George Langford describes the segregated town of Potecasi, North Carolina, while he was growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George Langford talks about his father's family receiving an education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George Langford talks about his parents getting married in the early 1920s

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George Langford talks about segregation in North Carolina, and his father's role in mediating peace during inter-racial conflicts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George Langford describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George Langford talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George Langford describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George Langford describes his childhood memories on his family's farm in Potecasi, North Carolina, and talks about the home where he grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - George Langford describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Potecasi, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - George Langford describes his experience as the youngest of nine children

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - George Langford describes his interests while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - George Langford talks about his father's physical strength and his long life

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - George Langford talks about his access to African American magazines and newspapers while growing up in Potecasi, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - George Langford talks about all the schools that he attended, and describes his elementary school experience at Potecasi Graded School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George Langford describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George Langford talks about the high elementary school drop-out rate while he was in school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George Langford describes his involvement in Church as a child, and his recollections of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George Langford describes his experience during segregation in Potecasi, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George Langford describes his experience at W.S. Creecy High School, his interest in science, and the mentorship that he received from his teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George Langford talks about his interest in the physical sciences and his decision to major in biology in college

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George Langford talks about his academic performance and his involvement in extracurricular activities at W.S. Creecy High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - George Langford talks about his mentors at W.S. Creecy High School, and his decision to pursue a college education at Fayetteville State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George Langford describes his experience at Fayetteville State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George Langford talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George Langford describes how the student government at Fayetteville State University facilitated the integration of Fayetteville in the 1960s-part one

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George Langford describes how the student government at Fayetteville State University facilitated the integration of Fayetteville in the 1960s-part two

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George Langford talks about his mentors, Joseph Knuckles and F. Roy Hunter, at Fayetteville State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George Langford describes the strong liberal arts and education programs at Fayetteville State University, and his involvement in music while there

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George Langford describes his first winter in Chicago, and talks about the blizzard of 1967

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - George Langford talks about his experience in Chicago, and how he met his wife, Sylvia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - George Langford talks about his doctoral advisor, William Danforth

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - George Langford talks about his interest in cell biology, and his mentors, Teru Hayashi and Jean Clark Dan, at the Illinois Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George Langford talks about the unrest in Chicago, following Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George Langford talks about other black students at the Illinois Institute of Technology while he was a student there in the late 1960s and early 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George Langford describes his Ph.D. dissertation on the growth of the unicellular protozoa of genus Euglena, in the absence of oxygen

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George Langford talks about the role of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) in shaping his research career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George Langford describes his introduction to cell biology and live-cell imaging, and his experience at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George Langford describes his postdoctoral studies on the mechanism of motility in Pyrsonympha, the native protozoa found in termite guts

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George Langford talks about his experience at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and his reasons for leaving there

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - George Langford describes his rich scientific experience at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), and its influence on his research career

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - George Langford talks about the life of Ernest Everett Just, his pioneering science, and his tenure at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - George Langford talks about the similarities between his scientific career and that of Ernest Everett Just

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - George Langford describes being an African American researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1970s, and current racial trends in science

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - George Langford talks about his appointment at Howard University and his subsequent transition to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George Langford describes the racial challenges at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George Langford talks about segregation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the surrounding community in the 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George Langford describes his experience as the chairman of the Minority Affairs Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George Langford describes his experience as the director of the cell biology program at the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George Langford talks about his appointment as the Ernest Everett Just Professor of Natural Sciences at Dartmouth College in 1991

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George Langford describes the liberal arts style of education at Dartmouth College

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - George Langford describes his efforts to increase the retention of African American students in science at Dartmouth College

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - George Langford talks about the field of social science, and his efforts to educate his colleagues and students about the concept of "white privilege"

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - George Langford describes his groundbreaking discovery of actin-dependent organelle movement in squid axoplasm

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - George Langford talks about biologist, Robert D. Allen

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - George Langford describes the implications of his discovery of actin-dependent organelle movement in squid axoplasm

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - George Langford describes his service on the National Science Board, and talks about atmospheric scientist, Warren Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - George Langford talks about his service on the National Science Board's National Workforce Task Force Sub-Committee in 1999

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - George Langford describes his service as the dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - George Langford describes his service as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - George Langford describes his current research on yeast toxins and the collaboration between science and humanities at Syracuse University

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - George Langford shares his perspectives on how modern technology affects education

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - George Langford describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - George Langford reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - George Langford reflects upon his choices and shares his advice to young students who want to pursue studies in the STEM fields

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - George Langford talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - George Langford talks about his exposure to the liberal arts and humanities at Dartmouth College

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - George Langford talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

8$1

DATitle
George Langford describes his rich scientific experience at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), and its influence on his research career
George Langford talks about his service on the National Science Board's National Workforce Task Force Sub-Committee in 1999
Transcript
So, it was while you were there [University of Massachusetts in Boston] that you took advantage of the Marine Biological Laboratory [MBL] at Woods Hole [Massachusetts].$$That's right, that's right. I began going to the Marine Biological Laboratory in '72 [1972] when I was at Penn [University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. And then I continued going for the time that I was at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.$$Okay. Well, tell us the significance of this place. And then there's another, there's a figure in the history of black science that spent a lot of time there, Dr. Ernest Everett Just [pioneering African American embryologist who studied the early development of marine invertebrates].$$Right.$$I think you've discussed him in lectures and that sort of thing, so--$$Right. Yes, so the Marine Biological Laboratory became one of the most important institutions in my development as a scientist. I went there while I was a post-doc at Penn because my, post-doc mentor Shinya Inoue always moved his laboratory there in the summers. And I went there to take the physiology course, and this was one of those amazing experiences. It's a total emersion course. It teaches you really the fine points of research science, and you're learning it from the best people in the discipline. So it's a great place, it's very student-oriented. Faculty members who come there do it because they love to do it. They are accessible in ways that they're not when they're at the home institution. And it creates this atmosphere of openness and really strong support. So, you develop, you know, an excellent network of individuals to work with as a result of being there. So, I went there in '72 [1972] for the physiology course, and I went back in '74 [1974] for the neurobiology course. And then I began to go as an independent scientist. I served as an MBL Steps [ph.] Fellow, a Macy--Josiah Macy Fellow, working in the laboratory of other scientists as I was developing my own research program, and then began to go there as an independent investigator. So, it's really, it's a unique place. If you've never been there it's really worth a visit because there's just none other place like it. So, for my own advisor, you know, because of the stress of all of the things he had to do when he was at the university, it was very hard to get in to talk to him. But in Woods Hole, it was easy, you know. You had, you could sit out on a bench by the water and talk at lunch. You could go--you know, you could spend time in the evenings working together. So, people were just accessible, and it was a wonderful learning experience. Because as I said before, you remember--I, you know, research science was all new to me, and it takes a long time to really develop a strong network and to understand just how to move a science project forward. So, I depended a great deal on the network of friends that I developed at the Marine Biological Laboratory.$[In] '99 [1999], you served as vice chair of the National Science--, I'm sorry, the National Science Board's National Workforce Task Force Sub-Committee.$$Right, right.$$What is that, now?$$So, the chair of the board at the time, Eamon (ph., unclear) [M. Kelly], wanted to address this issue of the lack of students going into the sciences. And so, he put together a task force of the board to really look at this issue. And so, for a year we actually studied the trends for students going into the sciences. And, you know, it was really frightening what we observed, you know. The data showed that we were still under-producing students in the sciences. We were doing better in the biological sciences but the numbers were very, very, small in physics and they were pretty miserable in chemistry and really bad in engineering. And so, the board put together a strong set of recommendations on how we could increase the number of students, the domestic students, who were majoring in the sciences. This is an ongoing problem, we haven't solved it. But the board was really on top of it way back there in '98 [1998], '99 [1999] to try to address that issue.$$Okay, okay. Now in 2000 you were nominated by President [Bill] Clinton for a second six-year term on the National Science Board, and you then subsequently served in 2002, you served as chair of the National Science Board Education and Human Resources Committee.$$Right, right. So, the board had several standing committees. And one of the standing committees was the Committee on the Education and Human Resources Directive. And so, this was a very important assignment as well, because this was the committee that oversaw all of the program activities at the NSF [National Science Foundation] that were designed to increase the pipeline. You know, programs that were designed to increase the quality of training in the public schools in K-12 [kindergarten through twelfth grade] as well as curriculum changes within the universities. And so, this, the committee was in charge of oversight of all of those grant programs.$$Okay. How closely did you work with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson? You know, she was in charge of the science committee.$$That's right, yes. I got to attend several workshops that she organized to deal with this question. And she was a very, very strong supporter of the National Science Foundation and the programs that it had designed to increase students in the sciences. So, she was considered one of our strongest champions on the [Capitol] Hill.$$Okay.

Willie Pearson, Jr.

Sociologist Willie Pearson, Jr. was born on June 29, 1945 in Rusk, Texas. In 1968, Pearson graduated with honors from Wiley College with his B.A. degree in Sociology. Three years later, Pearson earned his M.A. degree in sociology (Presidential Scholarship) from Atlanta University. He received his Ph.D. degree in sociology in 1981 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

After graduating from college, Pearson moved to Kansas City, Missouri where he worked as a benefits claims examiner at the Department of Health Education and Welfare and as an administrative and legal specialist for the United States Army. In 1972, Pearson was hired as an assistant professor in the sociology and anthropology departments at Grambling State University where he was named an outstanding teacher. Pearson moved to North Carolina where he worked as an assistant professor at Wake Forest University in 1980 while completing his dissertation. In 1985, Pearson completed his first book, Black Scientists, White Society and Colorless Science: A Study of Universalism in American Science. In 1988, Pearson was awarded a Congressional Fellowship from the Office of Technology Assessment, Congress and received tenure at Wake Forest University. In 2001, Pearson joined the faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology as a sociology professor and chair of the School of History, Technology and Society. During the same year, Pearson was named a National Associate (life-time appointment) of the National Academy of Sciences.

Most of Pearson's research has centered around the U.S. scientific and engineering workforce and on broadening participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. In addition to having published numerous articles in newspapers and academic journals, Pearson has authored and co-authored seven books and monographs, including Blacks, Education and American Science , Who Will Do Science?: Educating the Next Generation, The Role and Activities of American Graduate Schools in Recruiting, Enrolling and Retaining United States Black and Hispanic Students, and Beyond Small Numbers: Voices of African American Ph.D. Chemists. Pearson has served on numerous committees, advisory boards and panels at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Sociological Association and many more. He has a love of teaching, research and community service and he has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students throughout his career. Pearson has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Schoonmaker Faculty Prize for Community Service from the Wake Forest University Alumni Council and the Distinguished Lecturer award from Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Willie Pearson, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 13, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.014

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/13/2011

Last Name

Pearson

Schools

Wiley College

Clark Atlanta University

Southern Illinois University

Emmett J. Scott High School

W.A. Peete Elementary School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Rusk

HM ID

PEA01

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

6/29/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Sociologist and sociology professor Willie Pearson, Jr. (1945 - ) was a sociologist whose research centered on the U.S. scientific and engineering workforce and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering.

Employment

Louisiana Tech University

Southern Illinois University

University of Central Arkansas, Conway

Wake Forest University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Grambling State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2914,77:3290,82:28246,331:28656,337:51830,657:55049,690:55493,695:56048,701:56825,709:60580,730:61196,736:61581,749:62274,760:67587,859:69281,885:79068,965:80082,985:80394,990:82578,1054:83202,1063:84138,1078:86010,1114:86322,1119:93290,1162:94650,1183:95290,1192:106715,1305:109565,1345:112115,1403:112565,1410:114290,1439:120040,1483:125860,1556:140150,1711:151940,1859:154145,1921:157346,1936:160271,1968:162359,2003:163751,2025:164099,2030:167550,2049:168846,2078:169350,2091:172302,2139:185159,2325:189440,2359:189712,2364:189984,2369:191300,2380:207670,2547:213664,2654:215830,2664$0,0:9070,113:13525,251:14190,259:16660,295:17515,312:18655,327:19035,332:30698,462:31306,471:31610,476:31914,481:33434,512:38498,565:42554,639:45206,701:45674,709:49920,729:52730,740:53450,751:54090,757:54410,762:60487,802:64456,855:64984,862:68768,923:72488,947:74380,980:75240,991:76014,1001:80443,1067:80727,1072:85058,1196:85626,1205:88111,1258:92730,1294:93258,1305:93984,1319:94314,1325:96628,1340:98072,1369:98376,1374:102024,1463:104532,1512:105216,1522:105520,1527:106964,1567:107876,1584:119451,1721:121713,1753:122409,1762:126871,1791:127701,1804:132183,1923:133926,1946:134341,1952:134839,1960:135171,1965:147010,2163:149650,2198:150860,2215:151300,2223:161340,2313:162502,2367:162834,2372:163249,2378:170048,2483:173194,2506:173534,2512:173942,2520:174486,2529:174962,2537:177002,2578:177614,2589:179110,2620:179722,2630:179994,2635:183540,2649:185250,2660:186504,2674:187416,2683:188556,2700:190970,2713:191642,2723:197186,2816:197522,2857:198110,2866:199790,2886:205290,2912:206050,2924:207800,2955
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie Pearson, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his mother's roots in Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his mother's roots in Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his maternal family's landownership

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the African American community in East Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willie Person, Jr. remembers his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the lack of knowledge about his family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls the African American communities in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the Juneteenth celebrations in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls exploring his neighborhood as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his activities at the Bethlehem First Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his experiences at W.A. Peete Elementary School in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers his favorite elementary school teachers, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers his favorite elementary school teachers, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls the sports teams at W.A. Peete Intermediate School in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers his teachers at Emmett J. Scott High School in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls playing sports at Emmett J. Scott High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his early understanding of gender roles

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his early curiosity about the social sciences

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers questioning religion

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his athletic experiences at Emmett J. Scott Elementary School in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the professional athletes from Tyler, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Wiley College in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the prominent alumni of Wiley College, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his first impressions of Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers the diverse faculty at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his coursework at Wiley College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the prominent alumni of Wiley College, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers the civil rights activities at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the connection between Wiley College and northern educational institutions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the ideologies of Malcolm X and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the benefits of a liberal arts education

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls organizing a protest after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls graduating from Wiley College

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his sports activities in the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his experiences in the U.S. military

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls the lack of black faculty at Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers the prominent figures at the Atlanta University Center

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the sociology curriculum at Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his experiences at Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers working for Kelly Spring Tire Company

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his decision to join the faculty at Grambling College in Grambling, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls marrying his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his teaching experiences at Grambling College in Grambling, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his accomplishments as a professor at Grambling College

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers teaching at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his students at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers his decision to focus on the sociology of science

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his research grant at Southern Illinois University

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers being mentored by his doctoral professors, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers being mentored by his doctoral professors, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his aspirations for his career

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the problems faced by professors with multiple departmental appointments

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his decision to join the faculty of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes how he was evaluated as a professor at Wake Forest University

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers the African American professors at Wake Forest University

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the findings of his Ph.D. dissertation, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the findings of his Ph.D. dissertation, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the lack of visibility of African American scientists

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his book, 'Black Scientists, White Society and Colorless Science,' pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his book, 'Black Scientists, White Society and Colorless Science,' pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about science education in the African Americans community

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the Mid-South Sociological Association

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls serving on the editorial board of Contemporary Sociology

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his work with the Office of Technology Assessment

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his work with the National Science Foundation

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his work on Project Mosaic

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his edited volume, 'Who Will Do Science?'

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's five city project, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's five city project, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the prevalence of youth violence in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the consequences of defunding social programs

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the low retention of black high school students

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his book, 'The Role and Activities of American Graduate Schools'

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the credibility of social science research

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the sociology of education

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the public misunderstanding of the social sciences

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about higher education initiatives

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the repercussions of underperforming schools

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls joining the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his book, 'Beyond Small Numbers'

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his study of African American chemists, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his study of African American chemists, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his teaching experiences at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his current research projects

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about researching his family history

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his family

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon his experiences at the Kelly Springfield Tire Company

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his friendships

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. shares his advice to future scholars

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the underrepresentation of African Americans in sociology

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the importance of mentorship

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the importance of sociological research

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his concerns for urban communities

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the practical utility of sociology

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the benefits of a sociology background

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about making science accessible to the everyday person

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the value of quantitative research methods

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the challenges faced by social scientists

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the importance of peer review

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the careers of his wife and children

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$7

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his maternal family's landownership
Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his students at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana
Transcript
Did your mother [Odessa Price Pearson] grow up on one of the big holdings of land that--?$$Yes. In the area of Rusk, Texas, Cherokee County and--$$Now, is that Rust or Rusk?$$Rusk, R-U-S-K.$$Okay, all right.$$And, yeah, she grew up there.$$Did she have any stories of growing up that she--$$No, that's what I'm saying. There was never really any--a lot of details. She talked about, you know, like her brothers and sisters and a little bit about her family, but you have to remember that--see, I was born when my mother was around thirty-three. So I was basically a very late child. So, and my sister [Vassie V. King] being like a child, a very gifted child, would have been there for that first fifteen years. So my sister would have known a little bit more, but as I was saying because she was skipped, my sister was not really interested in a lot of historical stuff. So she knew some of the relatives, but my mother only mentioned occasi- if I would ask when I got to be in high school [Emmett J. Scott High School, Tyler, Texas], I would ask question because I knew that the level of education was not very high. But I knew they were very good with finances and kind of economic issues. And then I kind of learned probably later on, much, much later on that being black, you didn't put your resources in one bank or something like that because bad things could happen to them. So I had a better understanding that they were able to live way below their means, but she never spoke of any details, you know, besides she and my sister would go occasionally and sell timber, 'cause both my sister and I went to small, private colleges and that's how tuition and stuff was paid.$$Okay, so they had to consciously sort of live below their means in order to escape the consequences of racism in Texas?$$Yes, yeah, it was, I guess by the time I got to college [Wiley College, Marshall, Texas], I was given kind of control of the estate or resources. And I was just stunned at how much it was in terms of value, but I also came to understand that if they did not, 'cause there was no purchase of cars, no fancy homes, anything like that. But we never had any, took out any loans or anything like that. That's what I'm saying, it was like, it was contradictory in many ways. But as I got older I understood that the consequences of being conspicuous with your resources, that it could have been taken away from you. So in the end, it was very clever, and I think from my mother--'cause my parents were divorced fairly, when I was young, that to see how sophisticated she was with finances. Actually helped me quite a bit. I was, my minor was economics.$So you could imagine, I go over to Louisiana Tech [Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana]. It's about 99 percent white. And then I'm going over to Grambling [Grambling College; Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana], it's about 98 percent black. So you're going between two worlds. And the resources were very different. I had a grader, of multiple choice kind of stuff, and of course, I graded the essays myself over at Tech; didn't have anything like that until, at Grambling until much later. And so things went extraordinarily well, but because of my own experience I knew that you had talents students at both places. It's just that some of the students at Grambling had more to overcome because of their, the quality of their high school experiences and that I mean it's some fantastic students at Grambling. So I think my second year, we had the club up and running and students were doing placements, to do their research. So they were actually collecting empirical data. Even at the same time, Louisiana Tech didn't have anything like that, but part, if you recall, when I was in undergrad [at Wiley College, Marshall, Texas], see I did a thesis. So I had a research experience as an undergraduate student that would be more typical of a graduate student, that I was passing on to these students. And unlike, probably students at most places in the social sciences, they were going to professional meetings and presenting. That was more typical for students in biology or chemistry that went to all-black scientific meetings. This was not the case. So they learned to write articles for the newsletter, showed them how to design the fundraising activities. So by the end, I was also preparing them to go on to graduate school. So a number of them began to get accepted to graduate schools, primarily in the North. Some went to Smith [Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts], some ended up going to other places, like Texas A&M [Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas], LSU [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana], some of them went to the Midwest because keep in mind that they didn't have to be sociology majors to be part of the group. And then some of them went into industry. So part of my thinking by letting them know about my industrial experience [at Kelly Springfield Tire Company] and so some might wanna go that avenue. Some might wanna go to others, but at least they would have the skillsets and the tools to know what you might have to overcome because some time you could have the ability but because of certain kind of discriminatory practices that exists around promotion, access to the informal knowledge of the network, you can't let that deter you. You know, that's one thing you had to figure out, okay, if that's the case, what can I do to empower myself so I can still be competitive because eventually, competence, I believe out rules some of the other things.

Larry Gladney

Research physicist and professor Larry Donnie Gladney was born on August 9, 1957, in Cleveland, Mississippi, to Annie Lee Gladney and Lucius Green Walker. Raised by his mother in East St. Louis, Illinois, Gladney attended Alta Sita Elementary School, Clarke Junior High School, and graduated third in his class from East St. Louis High School in 1975. Keenly interested in the nature of matter, Gladney earned his B.A. degree in physics from Northwestern University in 1979, and went on to Stanford University to earn his M.S. degree, then his Ph.D. in physics in 1985. Gladney pursued post-doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania from 1985 to 1988.

Gladney, teaching and conducting research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Physics in 1988, developed the third-level tau lepton triggers for the Collider Detector at Fermilab. From 1989 to 1994, Gladney served as a Presidential Young Investigator for the National Science Foundation. He was awarded a Lilly Teaching Fellowship in 1990, and by 1992 Gladney made the first observation of an exclusive B meson decay in the hadron collider environment. In 1997, Gladney received the coveted Edward A. Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society, and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Lecturer Award from Wayne State University. By 2000, Gladney had been selected as the American representative to the Computing Coordinating Group for BaBar; he was then selected to head the Level 3 Trigger effort for the BaBar experiment at the SLAC PEP-II Collider. Gladney, from 2003 to 2004, was a visiting scholar at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Gladney served as a member of the U.S. Army Science Advisory Board from 1997 to 2002. Gladney also served as a member of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel for the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2001, and other NSF and Department of Energy committees over the years, including Quarknet. Gladney later served as a member of the Advisory and Review Committee for the Origin and Structure of Matter project of the NSF.

Interested in the success of young people, Gladney was the recipient of the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Black Graduate Professional Students’ Association at the University of Pennsylvania. Gladney was also an occasional lecturer on the subject of seeing and researching dark energy, and in 2006 appeared on a program entitled The Three Cosmic Tenors: Exploring the Frontiers of Matter, Energy, Space and Time with other black physicists, James Gates and Herman B. White, Jr.

Accession Number

A2006.104

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/23/2006

Last Name

Gladney

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

East St. Louis High School

Alta Sita Elementary School

Clark Junior High School

Mason-Clark Middle School

Northwestern University

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

GLA03

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

8/9/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Physicist Larry Gladney (1957 - ) is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania studying theoretical and particle physics. He works with the Collider Detector at Fermilab.

Employment

University of Pennsylvania

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:5150,65:6500,98:9425,144:23594,369:24138,379:24818,391:26110,411:31754,527:32162,534:37930,592:38490,600:45375,693:45942,703:50950,766:51720,778:52560,798:55010,844:58370,928:60400,986:60820,993:62360,1013:63270,1033:63620,1039:76770,1210:77070,1215:79020,1248:79545,1257:89178,1393:89654,1402:89926,1407:91354,1426:98720,1501:124670,1942$0,0:4249,18:4852,30:5589,43:5857,48:6527,59:7264,69:7867,80:14031,208:21963,302:23343,329:23964,341:24585,352:26172,370:26517,377:27069,387:27828,402:28380,411:29277,428:30174,452:30933,470:31416,478:33624,547:34314,558:45998,708:47558,729:48494,743:50600,797:58308,881:61424,896:66184,967:69856,1088:70604,1104:71080,1112:72576,1138:73188,1148:82998,1272:84054,1292:85374,1327:88212,1383:96660,1506:97200,1513:101880,1614:117194,1888:124928,2001:125950,2021:127556,2065:129308,2096:130111,2112:131060,2124:133104,2178:138551,2217:139757,2241:140025,2246:142169,2285:142437,2290:142906,2303:143509,2317:146165,2335:146993,2350:147683,2361:148580,2376:153065,2470:157114,2498:157398,2503:160578,2557:161218,2568:161666,2577:163714,2634:164034,2641:171050,2740:171350,2745:171800,2752:172100,2757:173675,2784:182224,2951:188670,3039
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Gladney's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Gladney describes his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Gladney talks about his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Gladney talks about his mother and the lack of a Civil Rights movement in Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Gladney describes his mother as a single parent and her compassion for others

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Gladney talks about his mother's youth and her growing up in Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Gladney describes his father his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Gladney describes his father as a Mama's Boy

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Gladney describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Gladney describes his parents' differences

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Gladney describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larry Gladney describes growing up in East St. Louis

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Larry Gladney describes some of the sight, sounds and smells of growing up in East St. Louis

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Gladney discusses the Buckminster Fuller Plan [an architectural design, part of The Old Man River's City project in 1971] in East St. Louis

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Gladney talks about the sights and sounds of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Gladney remembers what he was like as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Gladney talks about his elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Gladney remembers the teachers at his school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Gladney recounts the unpleasantness of his elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Gladney talks about his Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Gladney talks about the schools on the northside and taking upper level classes with a small group

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Gladney talks about going to college and the identity of black college students

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Gladney talks about how he became hooked on science

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Gladney talks about his exposure to religion

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Gladney discusses the church and his questioning of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Gladney talks about his graduation from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Gladney talks about why he chose Northwestern University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Gladney talks about his perseverance in the lab at Northwestern

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Gladney remembers his mentors in college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Gladney talks about being the president of his fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Gladney talks about graduating from Northwestern University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Gladney discusses choosing a graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Gladney talks about his negative experiences at Stanford University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Gladney describes his graduate school mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Gladney talks about the role of black identity with success in the STEM professions

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Gladney talks about his doctoral dissertation on charm quarks

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Gladney talks about Condolleeza Rice at Stanford University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Gladney describes the culture and ethics of physicists

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Crowe comments on the Manhattan Project

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Gladney talks about the mindset of particle physicists

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Gladney talks about physics and how science is "the great equalizer"

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Gladney talks about his post-doctoral work

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Gladney explains perceptions of racism

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Gladney describes his two major fields of research

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Gladney talks about antimatter

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Gladney describes his approach to presenting his work before a lay audience

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Gladney talks about dark energy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larry Gladney describes The Three Cosmic Tenors

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Larry Gladney discusses the role of the National Society of Black Physicists

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Larry Gladney talks about attending scientific conferences

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Larry Gladney responds to a question on what he might have done differently

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Larry Gladney responds to a question on what he might have done differently

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Larry Gladney comments on his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Larry Gladney describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
Larry Gladney describes his two major fields of research
Larry Gladney talks about dark energy
Transcript
Okay. Now from what I was reading there are two major fields of research that you're involved in right now I guess or--?$$Particle physics and cosmology.$$Right.$$Those two fields overlap at the place where I'm very interested which is how did the universe begin? We believe that it started with a big bang which is an explosion so it was very hot and very dense and those are exactly the conditions in which there wasn't any normal matter. All the matter was in the form of quarks and the forces between them were all very strong forces not like the ones that we see today. So that it's exactly that intersection that I'm most interested in and it's where the two fields have pretty much identical goals and the methods up to this point have been different for approaching that same goal. So that one of the things very interesting about having people like me who had been very traditional particle physicists come in and work with cosmologists is that we're bringing some of the things that have been very successful for very large projects in particle physics where now it will be commonplace for papers. And particle physicists you know are journals to have a thousand or more authors. Some of them will have two thousand authors in the next few years. Whereas in cosmology, if you had a group of ten, that's considered huge, that's big. So merging these two cultures, we hope to take the best aspects of both in terms of proceeding with mounting these very challenging experiments to do things that are far beyond everyday experience now and far outside what we can reproduce in a laboratory. So if it doesn't work out optimally, would--neither of these groups, the cosmologists, nor the astrophysicists nor the particle physicists will get what they want which is the answers to these very deep questions. And we'll see how that works. It's, again it's another experiment and we can only judge it after that, after the fact.$That's right. So what to you today is the most intriguing aspect of physics in terms of--I mean is the project you're working on?$$Well the project I'm on now and I think it's the biggest question in all of physics is, what is the dark energy? What is this mysterious anti-gravity that's forcing the universe to get bigger and bigger at a faster and faster rate? And it's I think the most important question because it is so different, right? It's something that is allowed within [Albert] Einstein's general theory of relativity but it makes everything else wrong. It makes general relatively the one theory that we can depend on but quantum mechanics is wrong. And quantum mechanics has been just as fundamental to these foundation of physics as Einstein's theory of gravity has been. So that there's no comfort anywhere, right. In order to explain this you even have to give up on the physics that are very small in terms of quantum physics or the physics that are very large in terms of gravitation. One of those two has to be wrong and it might be both. So I don't see any other branch of physics where you can say there's something that is that profound as a possibility of you know rearranging the way we think about everything, right. That these things that have been very successful that have allowed us to build the atomic bomb, that allowed us to build nuclear reactors, that allowed us to build electronics and computers in terms of quantum physics. All those things are based on a theory which at its fundamental level is in disagreement with general relatively and the theory--Einstein's theory of gravitation. And we didn't have to reconcile those two before but now that we know about the existence of this anti-gravity, we can't escape it, right. And those two will have to interact in order to understand what this new phenomenon is. And every attempt by every physicist no matter how smart to date has failed to figure out a way to get them to play nicely together. There is one aspect which you would hear about from Jim [James] Gates who's going to be on the program with me tomorrow in which he thinks there's promise in this theory called super strings, super string theory and that may work out. But it's still got lots of possible holes in it that haven't been confirmed and probably can't be confirmed in a laboratory experiment for some time. So an experimentalist like me says I got to leave it as an open question, right. That these two things don't work together. I can't figure out how they're going to be consistent with one another. But until I understand the dark energy I don't have a clue as to what's going to force us to the next level, what's going to give us the crucial insight that allows some version of Einstein in the present day to figure out hey, this is how it works. This is how these two can fit together. And it causes us to rearrange some of the stuff we thought we understood before but that's okay because here is this bigger picture I can see how that works out.

William Lester, Jr.

Distinguished theoretical chemist William Lester, Jr., was born on April 24, 1937, in Chicago, Illinois, where he attended all-black elementary schools due to racial segregation. After World War II, Lester's family moved and he attended a formerly all-white high school; he went on to receive his B.S. degree in 1958, and his master’s degree in chemistry in 1959 from the University of Chicago. Lester obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1964.

Lester developed his interest in science at an early age; during his senior year in high school, he used his typing skills to obtain a part-time job in the physics department of the University of Chicago, which gave him a chance to explore the potential of a future career in the sciences. Entering the University of Chicago on a history scholarship, Lester set scoring records in basketball, two of which were still standing after forty-eight years. While at Catholic University, Lester worked at the National Bureau of Standards as a member of the scientific staff; his work at the Bureau helped him to meet the requirements for his doctoral dissertation on the calculation of molecular properties. Lester obtained a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he worked on the molecular collision theory. The IBM Corporation then hired Lester to work at its research laboratory in San Jose, California. Later, as the director of the National Resource for Computation in Chemistry, Lester organized and led the first unified effort in computational chemistry in the United States.

Lester later joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley as a professor of chemistry, where his research focused on the theoretical studies of the electronic structure of molecules. Lester's efforts at Berkeley extended the powerful quantum Monte Carlo method to a wider range of chemical problems. In 2002, Lester became the president of the Pac-10 Conference.

Throughout his career, Lester published over 200 papers in his field, and was awarded numerous honors for his research and teaching. Lester held memberships in several professional organizations including the American Physical and Chemical Societies, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also elected a fellow of the APS, ACS, and AAAS. In addition to his professional activities, Lester remained committed to science education and sparking an interest in pursuing science careers in minority students.

Lester and his wife, Rochelle (deceased), raised two children: son, William A. Lester, III, and daughter, Allison L. Ramsey.

Accession Number

A2004.043

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/7/2004 |and| 10/13/2005 |and| 11/7/2012

Last Name

Lester

Middle Name

A.

Schools

McCosh Elementary School

Frank L. Gillespie Technology Magnet Cluster School

Calumet Career Prep Academy High School

University of Chicago

Washington University in St Louis

Catholic University of America

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Archival Photo 2
Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

LES01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Depends on audience - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Allstate honoree

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean, Maui, Barbados

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/24/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Red Beans, Rice, Steak, Mexican Food

Short Description

Chemistry professor and chemist William Lester, Jr. (1937 - ) was the former director of the National Resource for Computation in Chemistry. He later joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley as Professor of Chemistry, and published over 200 papers in his field.

Employment

National Bureau of Standards (NBS)

IBM

National Resource for Computation in Chemistry

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

University of California, Berkeley

University of Wisconsin, Madison

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Lester's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Lester shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Lester talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Lester discusses his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Lester shares his parents' stories of their childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Lester talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Lester talks about his extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Lester talks about his sisters and their families

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Lester describes his childhood homelife

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Lester describes Chicago in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Lester talks about his elementary school experiences in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Lester describes his family's history in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Lester talks about his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Lester talks about his primary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Lester discusses his interests as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Lester talks about working at the post office while studying at the University of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Lester describes the curriculum at the University of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Lester talks about his starring college basketball career at the University of Chicago, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Lester describes earning his M.S. degree from the University of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Lester talks about his starring college basketball career at the University of Chicago, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Lester talks about his master's studies at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Lester describes his graduate school experience at Washington University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Lester describes his move to Washington, D.C. to attend The Catholic University of America

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Lester describes his work at the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Lester describes his courses at The Catholic University of America

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Lester describes correlated molecular orbital theory

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Lester discusses his work ethic

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Lester talks about his options for postdoctoral fellowships

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Lester reflects on the Civil Rights Movement in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William Lester talks about the work environment of the University of Wisconsin--Madison

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William Lester discusses affirmative action

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Lester describes his photographs

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Lester talks about his decision to work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Lester describes the close-coupling problem

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Lester discusses the work environment at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Lester recalls his move to California

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Lester recalls living in Madison, Wisconsin

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Lester describes the benefits of working at IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Lester describes San Jose, California

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Lester describes his career at IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William Lester recalls serving as director of the National Resource for Computation in Chemistry

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William Lester discusses building the NRCC program

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William Lester recalls the end of the NRCC and the beginning of his career at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Lester discusses the Quantum Monte Carlo method, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Lester discusses the Quantum Monte Carlo method, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Lester describes his work environment at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Lester talks about the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers [NOBCChE]

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Lester discusses his role as athletics representative for the PAC 10

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Lester talks about his STEM professional affiliations

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Lester talks about his travels

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Lester discusses the role of his research in spectroscopy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Lester discusses the role of his research in understanding photosynthesis

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Lester talks about computer programming in computational chemistry

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Lester shares his hobbies and other interests

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Lester talks about his wife, Rochelle Lester

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Lester discusses the success of his son, William A. Lester III

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William Lester talks about his daughter, Alison Ramsey

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William Lester talks about his cousin, William A.J. Ross

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - William Lester provides a brief summary of his family history

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - William Lester talks about seeking equal representation for African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - William Lester talks about his organizational affiliations

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - William Lester shares his goals for his future

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - William Lester discusses enjoying his career as a scientist

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - William Lester talks about education in the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - William Lester talks about how he wants to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - William Lester talks about generating random numbers in the Monte Carlo Method

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of William Lester's interview

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - William Lester describes the history of the development of the quantum Monte Carlo method

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - William Lester describes his experience with the quantum Monte Carlo method

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - William Lester describes his transition into using the quantum Monte technique and his current work

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - William Lester describes his work with graphene

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - William Lester talks about his life after retirement and his health

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - William Lester talks about being featured in the 2004 Allstate calendar

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - William Lester talks about playing basketball

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - William Lester describes his decision to attend the University of Chicago and his basketball career there

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - William Lester describes the accomplished physicists he was exposed to at the University of Chicago

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - William Lester describes what influenced his decision to attend Washington University in St. Louis

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - William Lester describes balancing family life with graduate school

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - William Lester talks about the African American scientists who trained at Catholic University

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - William Lester talks about fellow basketball players at the University of Chicago

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - William Lester describes receiving the INCITE Award in 2004

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - William Lester describes his visits to Europe for work

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - William Lester describes his awards and honors

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - William Lester talks about NOBCChE and Isiah Warner

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - William Lester talks about his seventieth birthday celebration at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - William Lester talks about receiving the Stanley C. Israel Award and reflects upon his career in chemistry

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - William Lester reflects upon his legacy and talks about current politics

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - William Lester describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - William Lester describes his involvement with The HistoryMakers' ScienceMakers Program

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - William Lester talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

6$5

DAStory

1$8

DATitle
William Lester discusses the Quantum Monte Carlo method, part 1
William Lester describes his career at IBM
Transcript
So you've been accepted to start your research at Berkeley (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh, yes, yes. I was appointed professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley [University of California, Berkeley], and well, what's to say except that--oh, I should back up a little bit because the nature of my research changed dramatically while I was director of the National Resource for Computation in Chemistry. One of the people I had hired was a physicist, condensed matter physicist, by the name of David Ceperley. And David came into my office one day indicating he had a 100 percent of the correlation energy for the electron gas. Now, the correlation energy is the difference between the theoretically, the theoretical exact energy for the system in energy of the system in what we call the mean field approximation, that is, an approximation in which you consider that the system is one in which a given electron is in the field of the N minus one other electrons. And each electron is viewed in this way. Well, anyway, this leads to well-known approximations in the electronic structure for molecules, it's called the Hartree Fock approximation, H-A-R-T-R-E-E, named after a fellow by the name of Hartree, who was English and Fock, F-O-C-K, who was a Russian. And I won't say what the contributions of each of them was. It gets a little bit technical for lay people in that respect, but simply to say that a 100 percent of the correlation energy was really quite an achievement. But it was foreign model system and electron gas is one way of considering a solid, in which you don't treat the solid in its explicit detail, but basically electrons in this see our gas, electron gas model. So I said, "Well, what about atoms and molecules, something which I understand." He said, "Well, really I'm a condensed matter physicist," and to some extent was not so keen about pursuing that but would do in collaboration. And this was done. I hired a fellow in the last year of NRCC [National Resource for Computation in Chemistry] by the name of Peter [J.] Reynolds who came from the East Coast. He had been a research professor at Boston University but had gotten his degree, his undergraduate degree, from Berkeley. He was a Berkeley product, a very brilliant young man, who wanted to come back to the West Coast. And so as a consequence, this led to our first publication of Quantum Monte Carlo for Molecules, which was published in or appeared in 1982. NRCC closed in 1981 and based upon the quality of results coming out of that study, I--and having done electronic structure for my Ph.D., this was really fascinating stuff. I mean the results were as good as the state of the art by any other technique that people were pursuing who had been engaged in electronic structure of molecules up to that point. And so I changed my research direction when I came on the faculty, continued to pursue Quantum Monte Carlo for molecules. And we began to build and extend the capability of the technique for larger systems, for higher accuracy, for understanding what was needed to improve upon results that had been obtained at that time. I should add that one aspect in terms of Ceperley that I hadn't mentioned before, and that is the idea of hiring him was the notion of a fellow by the name of Berni [Julian] Alder. And Bernie Alder is a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory [Livermore, California], internationally recognized and respected for his work originally in classical Monte Carlo. Quantum Monte Carlo means that one is taking into account the fermion character of electrons and nuclei. By that I mean that--$$Fermion?$$The fermion is a system which has spin, and that indeed, you can have regions of both positive and negative phase, which means that, in terms of Monte Carlo simulations, what you are doing classically is adding up numbers of the same sign to get a mean and an uncertainty associated with the evaluation. With Quantum Monte Carlo because the system, the function can have both positive and negative phases, you have to find a way so that you end up adding up numbers of the same sign in order to get a mean and an uncertainty. And without going into detail, it is possible to do that in the way that, something we call a fixed node approximation, which says that--well, I don't, I don't want to go into that. That's another half hour or so just in terms of the general ideas of Quantum Monte Carlo in its simplest manifestation.$But backing up a bit, through the early '70s [1970s], I had achieved somewhat of a positive reputation and I was viewed to be on the fast track for advancement in management. It was suggested that I go and spend time on the technical planning staff with the vice president and director of research, Ralph [E.] Gomory. This I did. And this meant going, moving to actually White Plains, New York for the year. That laboratory is located in Yorktown Heights, New York, it's the T.J. Watson Research Center. And that was a very interesting experience. I was on a committee or--which involved other young people, and it was clear to me that these folks really were, wanted to pursue advanced management in IBM, and it became clear to me that really I preferred my research to rising in the system at IBM per se. It reached an interesting point when I returned to San Jose because it was suggested that things didn't work well for me in Yorktown. I said, "Oh, I don't understand that." Well, then as I reflected on it, very possibly in terms of what you did while you were there and so on and how people spent their time, and so the commitment to the IBM administrative management direction was not fully there, that that's probably the basis upon which this decision or this view was held. Now I should back up and say also that prior to this, some two or three years earlier, I was selected to participate in a career development workshop. And the guys who ran this said, you know, in effect, you know, they're looking at you for management. I said, "Oh, yeah, really?" And so they went and volunteered that, "Yeah, we can shade it one way or the other." I said, "Really, at this point in my career, I really want to pursue my science as opposed to management." And they said, "Well, okay, we'll indicate that in the report," which they did, that, although Bill has, you know, potential for being a successful manager, he really should be allowed to pursue his research at this time. So there's this dilemma that confronts one, I think, early on in the management scheme in an institution of that type at that time, since things are very different now in terms of IBM and the parallel research laboratory that existed at the time, Bell Labs, in the sense that there is considerably less freedom. There's more pointed research towards the mission of the company than there was at the time I was there. So they're very different institutions in that sense.