The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Robert Bragg

Physicist and engineer Robert Henry “Pete” Bragg, Jr. was born on August 11, 1919 in Jacksonville, Florida to Robert Henry Bragg and Lily Camille MacFarland. He had one older sister, Alberta, a younger sister, Nadine, and a younger brother, Johnny. After his parents separated, Bragg lived with his mother and grandmother in Memphis, Tennessee, but he was encouraged by his family to move to Chicago, Illinois, to live with his Aunt Edna and Uncle Teddy where he attended Tilden Technical High School. Bragg pursued higher education at Woodrow Wilson Junior College, a community college in Chicago, Illinois, for a couple of years before enlisting in the military during World War II. Using the money allotted to him from the G.I. Bill to attend Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Bragg pursued a career in physics following the war. He received his B.S. degree in physics in 1949 and continued his graduate studies under the tutelage of Frances L. Yost, graduating from IIT in 1951 with his M.S. degree and his thesis on quantum mechanical scattering theories.

Following his graduation, Bragg was hired at the Dover Electroplating Company on the North Side of Chicago, and then the Portland Cement Association Research Laboratory. While working with the latter of these companies, Bragg became an expert in x-ray crystallography and xray diffraction. He was then hired by the Armour Research Foundation at IIT, where he worked for another five years while continuing his graduate studies working under his mentor, Dr. Leonid V. Azaroff. Bragg completed his studies at IIT in 1960 and earned his Ph.D. degree in physics.

Bragg was then hired by Lockheed Martin Missile and Space, where he worked for nine years before joining the faculty of the materials science and engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley in June of 1969. Bragg served as chair of the materials science and engineering department from 1978 to 1981, the only African American to do so at that time. Bragg’s research interests included x-ray diffraction and its application to such topics as the structure and electronic properties of carbon materials. There materials were used in aircraft and aerospace vehicles as well as in everyday items such as golf clubs and tennis rackets. He taught at the university and conducted research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) until 1986. After his retirement, Bragg was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992 to conduct research for one year at the University of Ife in Nigeria. He also performed research at the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1999.

Bragg’s investigations in chemistry and physics earned him numerous honors and awards throughout his career. He was named a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) in 1995 and a professor emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley upon his retirement in 1987.

Bragg passed away on October 3, 2017 at age 98.

Accession Number

A2011.003

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/11/2011

Last Name

Bragg

Middle Name

Henry

Organizations
Schools

Carnes Elementary School

St. Anthony School

Woodstock Middle School

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Illinois Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

BRA12

Favorite Season

Spring, Early Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

N/A

Favorite Quote

Be Cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/11/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Death Date

10/3/2017

Short Description

Physics professor and physicist Robert Bragg (1919 - 2017 ) was a leader in the techniques of x-ray diffraction and the study of carbon-based materials, and served as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley from 1969 to 1987.

Employment

Cadney's Tea Room

Beat Plumming and Heating

Palmer House

D.S. Signet Elementary Training

Research Lab Portland Cement Association

ITT Research Institute

Lockheed Martin

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black, Dark Blue, Beige, Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:5118,39:15000,97:19466,131:22952,207:23699,218:24197,225:24861,234:25442,248:31676,280:38330,372:45178,431:45506,436:47064,459:47556,467:67280,636:68344,648:70244,678:76770,744:78860,756:86260,817:91020,905:91510,917:95858,960:102930,1083:106390,1129:107065,1148:107365,1153:112960,1171:113376,1180:117998,1259:125683,1342:126442,1358:131310,1425:139740,1536:140760,1554:142790,1559:143178,1564:143566,1569:144342,1602:157748,1734:159380,1768:159652,1773:159924,1778:160400,1787:160944,1797:161284,1803:170414,1871:184150,1983:184630,1990:206597,2205:210869,2281:221263,2399:222073,2456:237010,2635$0,0:1302,13:2442,31:3810,63:4722,77:7260,92:10529,127:10757,132:11156,141:12011,161:12467,172:13607,200:14006,209:14291,216:14576,222:20082,251:20690,260:21602,275:24783,289:25351,298:26132,311:26487,317:27836,350:28546,362:29114,380:29469,386:32073,401:32535,411:32843,416:38257,493:38562,499:39416,517:39660,522:44160,563:48152,589:48880,597:53114,635:53402,640:53906,648:57642,658:58279,667:58643,672:59371,681:59735,686:60463,696:61009,704:65536,743:65996,749:67870,757:69286,781:69699,789:71420,803:73590,854:74080,863:75550,902:78560,960:78910,966:83864,1005:84088,1010:84536,1020:85096,1036:85376,1042:86440,1057:86832,1065:87392,1077:88232,1096:90470,1103:91019,1118:91812,1133:92239,1141:92788,1152:93337,1163:93764,1172:94069,1178:96126,1187:96416,1193:97228,1217:97692,1228:99374,1258:99780,1263:104538,1326:105168,1338:107208,1347:107588,1353:110324,1403:111312,1417:113212,1446:113896,1460:114200,1466:114504,1471:115036,1480:115796,1492:119490,1519:125180,1599:125380,1606:126080,1628:126380,1636:126780,1646:128700,1652:135696,1811:136224,1825:136488,1830:137148,1842:137478,1848:141635,1874:144086,1932:145340,1959:146366,1985:147563,2023:147791,2028:148247,2038:148817,2051:149216,2060:150014,2082:150584,2094:151040,2105:152180,2133:153263,2153:153662,2161:154004,2169:158940,2188:159252,2193:159954,2205:160578,2218:161592,2234:162918,2252:171050,2292:171425,2298:171725,2303:176130,2343:180460,2364:181825,2393:182475,2405:184812,2421:186348,2438:186860,2447:191905,2502:192307,2509:195730,2533:196990,2548:197242,2553:198061,2569:201420,2590:202780,2622:203664,2638:204140,2647:205228,2661:205704,2669:206452,2685:206792,2692:207064,2697:207472,2705:207744,2710:208152,2718:208492,2724:211620,2782:211960,2788:212436,2806:212912,2814:213524,2825:217648,2838:220256,2875:222536,2883:223119,2897:223490,2906:223702,2911:226276,2934:227910,2964:228360,2974:228560,2979:229360,3003:229560,3008:230160,3027:230960,3045:231260,3052:233750,3079:240198,3200:241002,3215:243858,3226:244290,3235:244668,3244:245478,3263:245694,3268:245910,3273:249032,3321:249604,3334:251987,3358:252724,3366:253796,3385:254064,3390:254801,3412:255538,3424:264850,3552:265340,3561:267510,3599:268350,3613:268770,3620:269050,3625:275493,3680:275919,3688:276842,3705:277126,3710:278130,3717
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Bragg's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg explains how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's half-sister who was in show business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg discusses his parents' marriage and their separation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's second marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his resemblance to certain family members

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Bragg describes his upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his elementary school experience, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his elementary experience, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg discusses his awareness of African American organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg recalls his family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg describes himself as a teenager

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about living in Chicago, Illinois with his uncle

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg describes his uncle's work for Oscar DePriest as a plumber

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his experience at Tilden Technical High School in Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about is experience at Wilson Junior College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls taking aptitude tests and joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg recounts his experience in his U.S. Army laundry unit

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his direct commission to officer in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg describes his army experience in the Philippines

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg describes his army experience in Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about a murder that occurred while he served in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about going to college after his return from the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about earning his master's degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg tells how he met his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg remembers looking for a job after earning his master's degree

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg recalls his experience of integrating the cafeteria at Portland Cement Association

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg describes his work at the Portland Cement Association

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg remembers looking for a new job after the Portland Cement Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg remembers doing well on a test at North Carolina A&T College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his work at the Armour Research Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his job at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg describes his involvement in the Palo Alto community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Bragg talks about his travels while working at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls discussions of race relations in Argentina and the U.S.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his position at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg discusses the role of African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg continues discussing the role of African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his accomplishments at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg discusses his research at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his other professional positions

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg responds to a question about black student preparedness

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg discusses African American organizations

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his family and reflects on his decisions

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls being a busboy at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg discusses his involvement in University of California, Berkeley committees

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his appointment as faculty assistant to the chancellor

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his best students at University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his scientific legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about his immediate family

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg explains the origins of his nickname "Pete" and reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1
Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon
Transcript
You have good stories. Do you have an earliest childhood memory?$$Yes and no. I don't, I can't really put my finger on it, but I almost think I can remember when my sister [Nadine Maryann] was born. Now, that's not really possible because I was only two years old. But I have this dim recollection of some people coming and going in the house and I'm associating that with the birth of my younger sister, two years later. The next recollection I have is when we were on this homestead where--now, how we got there, I don't know. But sugarcane was grown there. And what they would do would be to harvest this sugarcane and make a preliminary extraction of the sweet juice from the sugarcane. And the way it was done was, they had a mill which was a couple of stones, large stones that are juxtaposed. So, and they're rolled, and the power for rolling these mills--these stones was a mule who went around in a circle. And he just sort of kept plodding around and rolling these stones and they would feed the stalks of cane into the stone and the drippings would collect in a barrel. And that was eventually fermented or distilled and made into sugar. And I can remember that you could chew this cane. It was rather sweet, and to this day, I'm sure people do that, but not the way the sugarcane was extracted. But apparently, they would boil this material, and there was a scum that collected off of it. And they would put that scum in a barrel, and it would ferment and would change into alcohol and rather potent. So the term sugar barrel high came from people who would, n'er-do-wells, would sit next to this barrel and dip this cane (laughter), this fermenting liquor to get high (laughter). So I don't know whether that comes later or not, but I do have this image of this mule going around, powering the stones. And the next one is when we moved to, from the lumber camp to Chicago [Illinois]--to Memphis [Tennessee] because then, just before that we're in this lumber camp, I had a pet alligator. Apparently, out in the woods, they had killed this alligator and brought home this, his little, you know, babies. So I had this pet alligator, have nothing, no further, nothing beyond that, but I do remember I had a pet alligator.$$He was a little one.$$Yeah, about so long, hang onto your finger you know.$$(Laughter).$$And I remember there was a guitar player who hung out at this juke who would come by the house. And sometimes he would play. And then one time, he showed up, there had been a big fight, and they'd broken his (laughter) guitar. So, beyond that, these are my earliest childhood recollections.$Okay, so now meanwhile, in the laboratory, you're studying the properties of carbon?$$Yeah, that was very interesting. And it came about in this way. When we, when I got there, the big program--and that was what I liked about it. I didn't like the military aspects of the missiles, but Lockheed Missiles and Space Company [California]. So it was involved in both, you see. I could always absolve myself of some blame by just thinking of, about space (laughter). To tell you the truth, I never really sweated it that much. But when I arrived there, the big program was the ballistic missile program. And one of the big programs with that is reentry. When you fire missiles into space and when it comes, when it reenters, ordinarily it would burn up because the aerodynamic heating would be such that it's going so fast, you know, faster than the speed of sound. And once it enters the earth's atmosphere, it just catches--you know, ordinary materials would burn up. And to this day, perhaps you read about the shuttle and the tiles coming off and burning through and burning up and all that. Well, a lot of work went into finding materials, hopefully, passive, which meant it would just do--they would not burn up so badly. And the material that does that better than any other is carbon. So that led to a lot of research on carbon. Union Carbide [Corporation], carbon producing companies which produce electrodes for manufacturing steel and all that, they also had projects to manufacture carbon for the space program, you know, the program. But the government was paying for all of that. They didn't do any of that on their own money because it wasn't that big a market. Once you built something, it wasn't--you didn't do hundreds of tons. You'd just do a few, you know. But a whole lot of manpower went into research on these materials. And so we had people around there who were studying the thermo-physical properties and the reentry properties and the tinsel properties and all that. And I loved that because I could do all kinds of physics, you know, in addition to what I was doing in characterizing the material. All that relates back to structure. So not long after I got there, I got involved in the reentry materials program. And there was a conference in Japan that occurred in '62 [1962], I guess it was, that they sent me to because some of it had to do with carbon materials. And also there was a chemical company in--I forget which town it was, but off of the beaten path of the conference, that (unclear) that made a material called glassy carbon which seemed to have very novel properties that might be useful in our reentry vehicles. So I made a side trip to this town in Japan where they, you know, put on the big dog and gave me this sales pitch (laughter), brought some of it back, little pieces, you know. And it turned out that it really was no good for that purpose at all, thermo shock, you know. If you heat something very quickly, and it expands very quickly, it'll fly apart unless it's strong enough. So it didn't have that thermo-shock resistance.$$So it wouldn't burn, but it would fly apart?$$Yeah, just fly apart. But in the meantime, because it was secret, we couldn't tell the Japanese, couldn't tell them what we wanted to do, and so it meant we had to reinvent the wheel. So we had a big program reinventing how to make glassy carbon. And I have a lamp back there in my room that's, the bowl of it is glassy carbon. But we never did get a patent on it because--well, I don't know what the reason was except that somehow we had licenses, let people have licenses to produce it, but we never patented it. But anyway, that's how I got into carbon.

Anthony Johnson

Physicist Anthony M. Johnson was born on May 23, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York to James W. Johnson and Helen Y. Johnson. He initially wanted to study math or chemistry in college until a teacher at Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn, New York introduced him to physics. Johnson attended the Polytechnic Institute of New York where he graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in physics in 1975. He went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in physics from the City College of New York in 1981. Johnson conducted his thesis research at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey with support from the Bell Labs Cooperative Research Fellowship Program.

Upon graduation, Johnson was hired at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey as a member of the technical staff in the Quantum Physics and Electronics Research Department. In 1988, Johnson was promoted as a distinguished member of Bell Labs technical staff; and, in 1990, he became part of the Photonic Circuits Research Department. Johnson joined the faculty of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1995 where he served as chairperson, distinguished professor of applied physics, and professor of electrical and computer engineering. In 2003, Johnson was named as Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR). He was then appointed as professor of physics, computer science, and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) where his research focused on ultrafast optics and optoelectronics.

Johnson has authored two book chapters, over seventy scholarly articles, and he has been credited with four U.S. Patents. In addition, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Optics Letters from 1995 to 2001. Between 1991 and 2000, Johnson was elected as a Fellow into several academic and professional organizations, including the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He was a 1992 Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). In 1993, Johnson received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Polytechnic University; and, in 1994, he was honored with the Black Engineer of the Year Special Recognition Award. The American Physical Society presented Johnson with the Edward A. Bouchet Award in 1996. In 2002, Johnson became the first African American to serve as president of the Optical Society of America.

Johnson is married to Dr. Adrienne S. Johnson. They have three adult children, Kimberly, Justin, and Brandon.

Anthony M. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 201

Accession Number

A2013.167

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/25/2013

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

City College of New York

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JOH44

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brisbane, Australia

Favorite Quote

Work hard, play hard.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

5/23/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

seafood, Chitterlings

Short Description

Physicist Anthony Johnson (1954 - ) , a 1992 Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists, became the first African American elected as president of the Optical Society of American in 2002.

Employment

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Bell Laboratories

Favorite Color

Electric Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1700,52:4360,101:5130,116:10108,181:10588,187:11164,194:11548,199:13180,237:14332,252:17404,287:32796,413:38368,469:38935,478:39664,489:39988,494:40312,499:40798,506:42337,527:43390,542:44119,566:44605,573:45253,582:45982,595:53480,627:54500,645:54920,653:57700,662:60640,677:61352,688:62776,711:63221,717:64556,734:65001,740:66247,760:66692,766:76480,809:77980,836:78430,843:78880,851:79855,866:82968,929:83496,936:84288,947:84640,952:86919,985:87941,998:88233,1003:88744,1011:91140,1063:92740,1097:94340,1120:95300,1133:95780,1139:96580,1166:99620,1223:102602,1231:104872,1260:105232,1266:106024,1353:107780,1359:108080,1364:108455,1370:108755,1375:109505,1396:112505,1456:113255,1467:114005,1486:117114,1513:117444,1519:118236,1536:120831,1575:121195,1580:121650,1586:123015,1606:127864,1649:128488,1657:132294,1680:133218,1692:136560,1730:137820,1749:140844,1788:145854,1832:146184,1838:147042,1853:148120,1870$324,0:10354,134:13107,156:14325,183:15021,194:17283,225:20280,239:21720,256:22080,262:28848,369:30000,389:33312,461:37674,474:39270,505:39574,510:47309,594:49685,644:50477,654:51071,662:56464,703:56756,708:57121,714:57851,725:58581,743:58873,748:67450,833:69774,874:70106,879:70687,888:71102,894:71766,903:72430,913:73675,930:74422,940:78213,949:93829,1152:94298,1161:99323,1250:101936,1295:102606,1311:109356,1383:112944,1455:113565,1466:121914,1566:123696,1594:124020,1599:124425,1605:124992,1613:128570,1653
DAStories

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Anthony Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Anthony Johnson talks about his interests as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Anthony Johnson describes becoming interested in physics

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his elementary and junior high schools

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson talks about his junior high and high schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson remembers when the first astronaut was put on the moon

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his high school interest in science and science fiction

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson talks about his high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson describes his decision to pursue his doctoral degree in physics

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson describes being encouraged go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his time at the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson talks about his summer at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories and bachelor's thesis pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson describes his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories and bachelor's thesis pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes how he met his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes his graduate education at Bell Laboratories and the City University of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson describes being hired by Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his first experience with the Optical Society of America

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his research at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about the affirmative action program at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson reflects on his career at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes his involvement in his professional organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about his patents at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about the low numbers of African American physics doctorates

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from Bell Laboratories to the New Jersey Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson talks about African American graduate students in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Maryland Baltimore County pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Maryland Baltimore County pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about the Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson talks about measuring light and the non-linearity of fibers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes the quantum cascade laser

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about the future of laser technology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about the limitations of short pulses

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about the minority programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson talks about the physics department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson reflects on his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about the encouragement of his parents

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
Anthony Johnson talks about his summer at Bell Laboratories
Anthony Johnson talks about his patents at Bell Laboratories
Transcript
So, tell us about the Bell Labs [Bell Laboratories] experience in detail, since this is a big deal.$$This was a big deal. So, and it was, you know, it was different, because I had never really left Brooklyn [New York]. So, so I got, I applied to the program. The professor got me the application and I applied, and I got in. And so we had two locations in New Jersey--Murray Hill, New Jersey and Holmdel, New Jersey. Those were the two big research labs. And so, this was called the Bell Labs Summer Research Program for minorities and women. We call it SRP, Summer Research Program. It started in 1974. And so, I was given a choice of working with two physicists who went on to become, you know, very world famous. One was David Austin. And he was doing lasers and opto-electronics. He, after he left Bell Labs he went, he became dean of engineering at Columbia [University, New York, New York]. Then he went on to become provost at Rice University [Houston, Texas], and president of Case Western Reserve [University, Cleveland, Ohio]. And then he finally ended up at--well, he was president of the Covey Institute in Santa Barbara [California]. And they are a philanthropic organization, and does a lot of work in physics. And now he's at UC Santa Barbara [University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California]. And I still keep close ties with him, because he became one of my Ph.D. thesis advisors, eventually. So, my connection with him was very, very strong. And then the other person I had the opportunity to--because I had a choice that first year. His name was Robert Dynes, D-Y-N-E-S. And he was a big name in superconductivity, low temperature physics. But I picked, I think I was more interested in lasers. And I picked Dave Austin, and that was my choice. And how I got into the field altogether was working with him.$Before we leave Bell [Laboratories], I want to ask you about your patents. You've been a part of a number of patents.$$Right. So, I have patents. I have four patents, and they all have to do with high speed optoelectronic devices. And that was, again, quite interesting. And working the patent attorneys and working with my colleagues. I mean they were all, they were not solo, they were collaborations with other researchers at Bell Labs. And I think I have four of those patents. And again, all high speed opto-electronics nature--high speed laser, a device--and we wrote a patent on that. And one of them, I remember has to do with trying to come up with a measurement capability to look at high speed integrated circuits. So you have these, this metallization on the optoelectronic device. And I came up with, with my colleague, we came up with a measurement that where we could actually image the electrical pulse traveling down the transmission line. And we did it by a process called photoemission. We would shine light on the electrode, and the electrons would come off, alright, by the process of photoemission. So, we would, we would do that and then by looking at the timing of when the electrical pulse went in--and when we would use a focus, an optical beam--we could actually get an image of this pulse traveling down the transmission line. And we could measure its speed, whether there were dispersion issues on it, what was slowing it down. And if we could improve that, we might be able to improve the performance of the device. So this was an imaging, a very high speed imaging process, to look at integrated circuits.

Donnell Walton

Physicist Donnell Thaddeus Walton was born on November 8, 1966 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He was one of three children born to Antoinette Williams. Walton attended North Carolina State University and graduated with his B.S. degree in physics and electrical engineering in 1989. Donnell went on to enroll in the University of Michigan where he studied under Dr. Walter Lowe and graduated with his Ph.D. degree in applied physics in 1996. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship with AT & T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey under its Creative Research Fellowship Program (CRFP).

In 1996, Walton was hired as an assistant professor at Howard University where he taught in the physics department until 1999. Walton was then recruited by Corning, Inc. and assigned to the research and development department where he performed and led research in fiber amplifiers and lasers. After serving as project manager of science and technology from 2004 to 2008, he joined Corning, Inc.’s Gorilla Glass team where he was named senior applications engineer. While there, Walton developed products for the burgeoning information and technology sector and worked to extend the applicability of Gorilla Glass. In 2010, Walton was named manager of the Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. In addition, he has authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers in scholarly, peer review journals including Optics Express and Optics Letters.

Walton’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Society of Information Display, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society. In 2013, Walton received the “Outstanding Technical Contribution to Industry Award” from U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology.

Walton lives in Painted Post, New York with his wife, Robin Walton. They have two children: Nina Walton and Donnell Walton, Jr.

Donnell Thaddeus Walton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/11/2013

Last Name

Walton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Thaddeus

Occupation
Schools

University of Michigan

North Carolina State University

Frank Lemon Elementary School

South Mecklenburg High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donnell

Birth City, State, Country

Mt. Clemens

HM ID

WAL19

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sedona, Arizona

Favorite Quote

if I can't change the people I'm around, then I'll change the people I'm around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/8/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Painted Post

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Donnell Walton (1966 - ) serves as manager of Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. where he authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers.

Employment

Corning Incorporated

Howard University

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:7412,101:17112,192:34701,606:37850,689:41736,762:42004,767:47766,985:48168,992:48570,999:48838,1004:55516,1044:68864,1244:69788,1257:70327,1267:72637,1314:74639,1349:75486,1361:76410,1383:76795,1389:77411,1398:81428,1433:84316,1508:84772,1526:85304,1535:85760,1542:86140,1548:87052,1568:93446,1638:98713,1674:99849,1704:111054,1835:111670,1865:124634,2015:125132,2022:125464,2027:126460,2038:131568,2104:132006,2111:132736,2122:133101,2128:133758,2138:134269,2146:142808,2237:145624,2289:146592,2310:150464,2385:151344,2401:151872,2408:174059,2589:183500,2703:205987,2981:207625,3018:215032,3112:215304,3117:216460,3141:217140,3154:221240,3218:222140,3246:231422,3379:231835,3387:243618,3468:257382,3693:261760,3722$0,0:3200,51:3812,61:4288,69:5512,136:8164,201:10612,253:16436,279:16994,284:17490,293:18792,333:19040,338:19474,352:19908,360:20342,369:21272,447:21520,452:22016,462:22388,470:24310,514:24868,525:25550,535:27658,580:28154,589:32720,606:34514,633:35618,650:37343,692:39668,715:40604,733:41124,739:49362,862:49732,868:50398,878:54323,911:54628,917:54933,927:56031,950:56336,957:56702,964:57373,979:57922,994:67650,1079:74160,1227:74594,1238:76020,1275:79740,1355:86059,1416:86852,1435:87340,1446:87645,1452:87889,1457:88133,1462:88499,1469:88865,1477:89719,1496:90451,1509:90817,1517:91061,1522:91671,1539:92830,1566:94599,1608:95636,1623:96429,1646:97283,1670:98076,1686:98320,1691:98625,1697:103458,1715:105130,1737:106650,1761:116325,1915:116650,1921:121599,1997:125574,2011:129290,2104:130010,2116:131522,2162:134042,2176:134525,2184:136802,2232:137423,2243:137699,2248:143909,2400:144185,2405:150355,2449:151517,2467:163330,2649
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donnell Walton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' long marriage and his grandmother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his relationship with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about the strong influence of his grandparents, and the impact of his first conversation with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donnell Walton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donnell Walton talks about his childhood neighborhood in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Donnell Walton describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Donnell Walton talks about his memories of Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Donnell Walton talks about attending Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Donnell Walton talks about his childhood interest in sports and reading

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton talks about his interest in books

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about the schools he attended, and his interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about his interest in boxing and reading, and his boxing heroes

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in school in New Haven, Michigan and Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about his motivation to study hard in school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' deaths

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's buying him his first computer in 1981

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about spending a lot of time alone as a child, and his early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about his family's pets in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's death, and moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to live with his great-aunt

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in high school in Charlotte, North Carolina and the influence of his guidance counselor, Ms. Dorothy Floyd

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Donnell Walton talks about playing football in high school, and receiving an academic and track scholarship to attend North Carolina State University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Donnell Walton talks about how he was influenced by the Minority Introduction to Engineering (MITE) summer program at MIT

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about majoring in electrical engineering and physics at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about receiving an AT&T Cooperative Research Fellowship Program and his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton talks about his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton describes his decision to attend the University of Michigan to pursue his Ph.D. degree in physics, with support from Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on optical fiber lasers and the applications of these lasers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his mentors at Bell Laboratories and at the University of Michigan, and his research at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton describes his experience at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about research infrastructure at Howard University, and the important place of scientists in African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton talks about his contributions at Howard University and reflects upon the research programs and funding at HBCUs

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton describes how he was recruited to Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton describes his work on high-powered fiber lasers at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about the development and applications of Gorilla glass

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass at Corning, Incorporated, and the importance of communicating science

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass, and about the different types of glass used in different products

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton describes how glass breaks

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about his team of engineers and about how patents work

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about the various markets for Gorilla glass and his re-deployment at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton describes native damage resistance in Gorilla glass

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about Corning's competitors and its market base

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about returning to research and development at Corning, Incorporated, and the company's investment in R&D

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton shares his advice for scientists and engineers contemplating careers in industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about Corning's involvement in educational and mentoring programs for minorities

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University
Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated
Transcript
Okay, North Carolina State University [Raleigh, North Carolina]. This is 1984?$$Yeah.$$Okay, 1984. This is a big--the year of "Run Jesse Run." And you know, so what was North Carolina--was that the year North Carolina State [University] won the basketball--$$No, it was one or two years before, I think. It was '82 [1982], maybe?$$Yeah, '82 [1982], or '83 [1983]. Yeah, I think you're right. With Dereck Whittenburg [college basketball player] and all those guys, yeah.$$Yeah.$$Alright.$$I don't know if you've seen it, but that--what was it--"30 for 30"--the thing they--the sports thing. They did this special on that. That was amazingly well done, very well done. Yeah, yeah. That was--so, I came there--similar to when I came to North Carolina--my high school [South Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte, North Carolina] was right off this huge championship. So, people were very full of NC [North Carolina] State when I got there.$$Okay.$$I wasn't a basketball fan, so I didn't really know that, until I got there.$$Alright. So, what was North Carolina State like? Was it a welcoming environment? What was it like for African American students?$$Yeah, so there was a lot of--like you mentioned--we had several African American coordinators there, to make sure--So, I was an electrical engineering major at that time. And we had an orientation only for, you know, a black freshman orientation, where you get to meet other, you know, people that would be your peers. So, it was--they worked hard. There were some key people there that worked hard to make it as welcoming as it could be. So, you end up making some very lifelong friends. [North Carolina] State [University] was a good place. It was different. It was big, but I felt prepared. Again, you know, I didn't want to lose again like I had done a couple summers before--or the summer before. So it turns out I was pretty well prepared, it turned out. My high school in Charlotte was--you know, prepared me pretty well. I made some really good friends in classes and on campus.$$Okay. I mean--were you involved in other campus activities other than your science courses?$$As a freshman? I was just running track, which was almost year round then. And just doing, yeah, just doing courses, not much as a freshman then. As a sophomore I ended up, you know, getting more involved in the Black Student Union, the Peer Mentor Program, becoming a mentor, pledging a fraternity, and stuff like that. So--$$Okay. What fraternity did you pledge?$$Omega.$$Okay, Omega Psi Phi, alright. So, were there any key teachers or counselors at--$$Yeah, so we had a guy in engineering. His name was Bobby Pettis. He was a minority coordinator, and he was instrumental--I still talk with friends about him.$$Is that P-E-T-T-U-S, or--$$I-S.$$Okay, I-S. Alright.$$Yeah. He was, he had intimate relationships with the students. He knew us well. He kept them honest. He, you know, made sure things--He did as much as he could to be almost like a family there, you know, in this huge environment. So, yeah. And then there was a woman--and then later I ended up adding physics as a major. And then that's another college. That's the College of Physical [and] Mathematical Sciences. So, his counterpart there is Wandra Hill, same thing. She's very--did as much as they could to make things welcoming and connect people.$$Wandra. W-A-N-D-R-A?$$Uh huh.$$Okay. So, are either one of them still there?$$Wandra Hill may have retired. And Mr. Pettis passed, I would say maybe in the--he must have passed in the eighties. I think she retired since I've been here [Corning, Inc., New York State]. So the last five or ten years, she must have retired.$Now, are you aware of something called, was it the Awareness Quality Improvement Team [at Corning, Incorporated, Elmira, New York]?$$At that time, the AQIT. Yes, absolutely.$$Okay. Now, tell us what that is, and what--$$Yeah. So like it's, it was an African American, what we call affinity groups. You know, it was, like what we were talking about earlier with the people at NC [North Carolina] State [University, Raleigh, North Carolina] who were trying to work to make it an inclusive environment. AQIT was started to make it a more inclusive--or the awareness--was to, to increase awareness of the presence of non--you know, underrepresented groups, particularly African Americans at that time. So, it was started, I guess, right around 198--, in the eighties. I think I want to say it was like '84 [1984], '85 [1985].$$Okay.$$And now, it's called the Black Technical Network. It got re-branded, but still doing the same things--trying to make a better environment, a more inclusive environment for everyone, starting with African Americans.$$Okay, okay. Now, so, so there was a community of African Americans here at--$$Small, it's grown. But it was--so it was, yeah, but absolutely, yeah. And it's a very--both inside the company and in the outside, external community. Most of us, since we all work for the same company, we all know each other. Our kids are the same age. So, actually, one of the ironies is that my wife and I moved here from Silver Spring, Maryland. And our neighborhood here is more diverse than our neighborhood was in Silver Spring, you know. I mean, not black. We have about six black families--it's a small neighborhood, six black families; many Asian families; Indian, Chinese, Korean. But whites may be, maybe 50 percent white. So, it's pretty interesting. But almost everyone in the neighborhood works for Corning.$$Okay. So, what would you say the percentage of black employees are?$$In the company, in the corporation?$$Uh huh.$$I'd put it at about maybe 7 percent.$$Okay, alright. That would be--that makes sense on some level, because it wouldn't reflect the blacks at 11 percent of the population of the country. But college graduates aside, those are, you know--technical people are much smaller.$$Right.$$So, Corning may be doing better than--$$Yeah, it's one of those best kept secrets. I think also--and of those 7 [percent]--most, the vast majority of us, I'd say somewhere around 80 percent of us are technical. I mean science and engineering, you know. And the other 20 [percent] is HR [human resources] and finance, but most of us are engineers.$$Okay, okay. That's interesting.

Philip Phillips

Physicist Philip W. Phillips was born in Scarborough, Tobago in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Phillips’ family migrated to the United States when he was ten years old. After graduating with his B.A. degree in chemistry and mathematics from Walla Walla College in 1979, Phillips enrolled in the University of Washington where he served as a graduate research assistant in theoretical chemistry and received his Ph.D. degree in theoretical physics in 1982. Upon graduation, Phillips was awarded a Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at the University of California at Berkeley from 1981 to 1984.

Phillips then worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until 1993 when he joined the faculty of the department of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1998, Phillips was appointed a Beckman Associate in the Center for Advanced Study. After being promoted to full professor and receiving tenure in 2004, Phillips went on to serve as the University Scholar and was named the Bliss Faculty Scholar in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a theoretical condensed matter physicist, Phillips studies quantum phase transitions and strongly correlated electrons. In particular, he focused on novel metallic phases in two dimensions and high-temperature superconductivity. Phillips research has been published in academic journals such as Physics Review Letters and Europhysics Letters. In addition, he authored a graduate-level textbook titled, Advanced Solid State Physics (2002).

Phillips served as the American Physical Society (APS) general councilor from 2000 to 2002 and as executive councilor from 2002 to 2004. He also served on the APS Committee on Committees from 2002 to 2004. Phillips was appointed to serve on the nanotechnology panel for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1999. He also served on the “Frontiers of Science” organizing committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) from 1998 to 1999. He was honored as the Edward A. Bouchet Lecturer for the APS in 2000. Phillips was elected as a Fellow of the APS in 2002, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2012.

Phillip Phillips was interviewed byThe HistoryMakers on June 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.098

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/7/2013

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Middle Name

W

Occupation
Schools

Walla Walla College

University of Washington

A-Karrasel Primary Grade Center

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Philip

Birth City, State, Country

Scarborough

HM ID

PHI05

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tobago

Favorite Quote

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/28/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Urbana-Champaign

Country

Tobago

Favorite Food

Curry

Short Description

Physicist Philip Phillips (1958 - )

Employment

University of California, Berkeley

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:11140,138:11532,143:16470,206:17158,215:17588,221:21510,260:29734,343:35659,420:36638,431:37172,438:38596,464:40376,490:43313,548:56140,634:56764,643:57310,661:58012,672:58324,677:58870,686:66220,814:80112,1026:81124,1062:87490,1089:98223,1240:99933,1294:107118,1331:107430,1336:107742,1341:109800,1348:113130,1398:113426,1403:116386,1453:123301,1530:123763,1537:126227,1587:128229,1615:128614,1621:136948,1714:137776,1724:144440,1795:145045,1807:151708,1920:151964,1925:152476,1935:153052,1946:153820,1962:154588,1981:156508,2019:156956,2027:162131,2074:162699,2083:163338,2093:167740,2188:168024,2193:171170,2215:194410,2558:196660,2565:197342,2579:202094,2641:202714,2652:203334,2664:207010,2738:207710,2750:208970,2774:211140,2811:213380,2849:220330,2933:221002,2987:231637,3135:232134,3146:238240,3248:238776,3257:251338,3437:252976,3472:261138,3574:263224,3593:263662,3600:264465,3620:265195,3631:269806,3670:270118,3677:274674,3706:275322,3716:283620,3794:284827,3815:285253,3822:285679,3830:286815,3859:290748,3882:297348,3923:297740,3928:299308,3951:299994,3962:303628,3995:304172,4004:304784,4016:307633,4059:308102,4068:308839,4080:312940,4126:318616,4232:322880,4271:325660,4313:329000,4382:329476,4390:333396,4439:336902,4474:338870,4479:339346,4487:339822,4495:340570,4504:341318,4516:341658,4523:343154,4551:344106,4570:350723,4615:351455,4636:351699,4641:352004,4647:354200,4695:354566,4702:355237,4714:355664,4724:356030,4731:367205,4870:371759,4910:372228,4918:380589,5039:380894,5045:381260,5053:382970,5075$0,0:4954,71:5458,82:6088,96:7978,136:8608,149:9301,163:9994,175:12199,218:12640,228:13144,238:13522,245:19583,309:27400,438:29910,446:32646,513:33294,526:34446,544:35886,569:36318,576:38334,613:39198,700:39630,708:39990,714:40710,725:41214,733:41502,738:46127,778:46766,790:47334,800:48683,843:53270,909:53792,919:54314,929:55620,934:57222,954:58379,1019:64490,1113:65270,1128:65660,1136:66505,1152:66960,1161:67350,1166:68065,1179:68715,1192:69105,1199:69560,1210:72030,1272:72355,1278:79840,1299:80750,1313:81590,1326:81870,1331:84836,1373:85172,1380:87140,1396:87770,1409:88470,1423:88960,1433:89310,1439:90010,1453:90360,1459:91760,1484:92040,1489:92880,1504:93440,1514:94000,1524:94770,1538:95400,1550:95890,1560:100695,1587:101280,1599:101735,1607:103656,1622:104437,1634:105147,1646:109908,1678:110298,1684:110610,1689:112638,1721:113652,1735:115737,1755:116540,1768:119971,1828:122679,1853:123409,1866:123774,1872:124285,1881:125964,1911:126256,1916:126548,1921:127424,1934:131352,1966:131624,1971:132440,1991:132712,1996:133052,2002:135500,2029:135772,2034:136112,2040:136588,2049:136928,2055:138764,2122:140464,2170:141280,2189:146873,2238:147485,2250:147689,2255:148250,2269:151800,2289:152736,2305:154695,2337:155410,2350:155930,2360:157035,2379:157620,2397:158335,2410:158920,2420:160610,2449:161065,2458:161520,2467:162105,2478:162625,2487:163600,2506:164315,2519:167514,2528:169938,2544:171162,2557:172182,2572:175590,2606:178388,2628:178899,2638:179191,2643:180651,2677:181089,2684:181819,2695:182476,2707:182768,2712:183133,2718:187825,2767:188109,2772:188748,2782:195039,2812:196404,2828:201184,2856:202950,2865:205096,2875:209352,2919:210288,2934:214074,2971:214422,2978:219834,3101:222540,3160:224610,3165
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Philip Phillips' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips reflects upon the history of slavery in Tobago and its present effects

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips talks about his mother's parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips describes his mother's childhood in Tobago

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips talks about his grandmother's and mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Phillip Phillips describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Philip Phillips talks about his father's extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Phillip Phillips talks about his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about his parents, siblings, and the family's moves to Trinidad and the United States

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips describes the sights, sound, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips describes Tobago and how it has changed

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips talks about his family's move to the United States

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips talks about his father's affiliation with the Seventh Day Adventist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips describes his family's move to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Philip Phillips talks about the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Philip Phillips describes going to school in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Philip Phillips recalls the black leaders he learned about in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about the move to Walla Walla, Washington and living in a town with few minorities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips describes his high school and his childhood friends in Walla Walla, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips talks about growing up in Walla Walla, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips talks about evolution, philosophy, and being raised as a Seventh Day Adventist

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips describes his grades in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips describes his years at Walla Walla College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips talks about moving out of his parent's house

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Philip Phillips describes his decision to become a theoretical scientist

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about the teachers that influenced him at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips talks about his doctoral dissertation and the decision to change fields

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips talks about receiving the Miller Fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips describes critical phenomena pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips describes critical phenomena pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips talks about his post-doctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips describes his work on Anderson localization

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about being a chemistry professor and doing physics research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips describes his firing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his hiring at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips describes his research on Mottness pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips describes his research on Mottness pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips talks about changing his research focus

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips talks about the physics program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips describes organizing the first scientific conference in Tobago

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Philip Phillips talks about his research and teaching

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about his mentoring of graduate students

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips talks about first scientific conference in Tobago

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips talks about his honors and awards and the legacy of Edward A. Bouchet

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips reflects on his life's decisions

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips discusses religion

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips reflects on his legacy

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

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Philip Phillips talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Philip Phillips reflects on his life's decisions

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Philip Phillips talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Philip Phillips describes his years at Walla Walla College
Philip Phillips talks about the physics program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
Transcript
Okay, all right, so, you went to Walla Walla College. Were you living at home?$$And I lived at home.$$Okay, all right. All right--$$All four years.$$Okay.$$Except for the last two quarters. The last two quarters being from January until May. So except for five months, I lived at home.$$Well, so, what was your major in college?$$Math and chemistry.$$Okay, and so you were there in--were you involved in, it was the same basic racial makeup of, I mean was the college reflective of the racial makeup of Walla Walla basically too? Were you the only black student?$$There were some black students, very, very few. A smattering of students from the [United] States and some from the islands and Africa, I would say, yeah.$$Okay, all right. So, was college, did you, did you get--well, you had understanding in college, I guess, because you said you were learning things you should have learned in high school--$$Right.$$--in college. So did college turn you on to physics or--(simultaneous)--$$Yeah, I mean once I got to college, and I started taking--so I started college an English major. And then I decided, you know, 'cause I really wanted to write. That was my, that was a passion of mine. And, but I decided I wasn't talented enough to be a writer. Then I decided I'll be a math major. And, and then I--math didn't seem very hard. Basically, I was, I should have taken calculus in high school. I was not really performing at the level that I should have been performing at. And so when I got to college and was taking calculus, then I started the standard sequence of calculus in college, by the third quarter, I decided, you know, this is not very hard. And I'm going to drop it and go and do something else. So a very interesting story happened. I was on the way to the registrar's office to drop calculus, and I see a kid with a skateboard, and I decided I was going to drop calculus which was four units and replace it with Western's, History of Western Civilization 'cause I hadn't taken my general history requirement, and, and add, there was a physical education class that was required and add PE. And I was going to add a tennis course, and that would be four hours. On the way to drop, to the registrar's office, I see a kid on a skateboard. Skateboards were really a big thing back then. I asked the kid, can I borrow your skateboard and just, could I try it out? He goes, sure. So I hop on the skateboard, go careening around the corner, fall off, and I completely tear up my ankle. I have to be in a cast for eight weeks, which means I couldn't go through with my plan to go and drop calculus. It completely changed the course that I was on.$$So you actually had to take--you took calculus?$$I couldn't go through with my plan of replacing a four-unit course with a, with a class that required that I go, that I do some sort of exercise. So Western Civ[ilization] and tennis went out the window and I stuck with calculus. And had I not done that, I would probably not be here right now.$$(Laughter) So the kid with the skateboard--(simultaneous)--$$The kid with the skateboard completely, that was a very pivotal moment.$$You were a junior then, you said?$$No, no, no. I was a, that was the end of my freshman year.$$Okay, all right. All right, so 1970-what?$$I started college in '75 [1975].$$Seventy-five [1975]--$$So it was '76 [1976], Spring of '76 [1976].$$Okay.$$Yeah, so because of that I, I was on the standard math sequence that all of the serious science and engineering people were on, and so the next year, I took chemistry. And it seemed trivial. It seemed absolutely easy. There was--it was taught with a system behind it. And so then I, I decided I would major in chemistry. And, but I was sort of behind because I was taking general chemistry my second year in college. And I hadn't taken physics yet. So we're talking serious catch-up here. And so I take more chemistry classes during the summer and then the fall, I took physical chemistry. This is as a junior, and I decided I would take the engineering physics sequence, which is the calculus-based course. You know, this thing that you teach--I teach here to freshmen. I didn't take it until my junior year (laughter). And even that seemed easy, and it seemed more interesting than chemistry. So I thought, well, you know, maybe I really should be a physics major. So in the end, I ended up being a double major in math and chemistry, and I took several physics courses, independent study, because there were very few people majoring in physics. And so you had to arrange with the professors to go and take these courses. So I was taking the quantum mechanics course independent study, my senior year and taking advance math courses also independent study. So basically in a two-year period, I went from no physics, to taking advance physics courses. And so I almost had a physics major when I finished as well, but I didn't have time to do any of the labs or anything like that. So.$$Okay.$$It was a crash course, once I figured it out.$Now you were a Bliss Faculty Scholar in 2000--$$Um-hum.$$--right? And that meant that you were supported by--$$Yeah, I, my--some of my research was funded by the engineering college. It allowed me further travel and funds for students, things like that.$$Now, you were saying, you were referring earlier or made sort of a, in a general way, that the University of Illinois [at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois] has, is one of the top physics programs in the country, right?$$Um-hum, yeah. And in solid state physics. It traditionally was number one. It recently became number two, and it was supplanted by none other than MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts], which I don't understand because most people don't understand why. If MIT is number two, there are several places you might have thought were number One. The last one would have been MIT. But MIT has these publicity machinery that guarantees it stays somewhere close to the top.$$Now, there are some Nobel Laureates that came out of University of Illinois, right?$$Right, I mean the reason why Illinois was so strong and has been so strong in solid state is that John Bardeen built up the effort here. And John Bardeen, I mean the quarters, the engineering quarter is named after him. He was a semiconductor physicist at Bell Labs. But to say that is not to give him enough credit. He, he invented the transistor at Bell, was hired here, won the Nobel Prize for that. But the real problem he was trying to solve was always in the back of his mind, was superconductivity. And he solved that problem here. And the theoretical program was based on his effort. And so he hired many people, all of whom became top, international stars. And that's, that defined theoretical solid-state physics for the world. I mean this place defined that. And there was no place that was second to this place. And so from that nucleus, the whole effort sort of telescoped from there. And they've kept their focus on, the air--they've kept their focus on their strength. They haven't tried to say, oh, well, now, we're good at this, let's try to--no, they've said, "We are a department that is defined by solid state. That's what we do. The other areas will benefit if we keep, you know, our primacy in that field. See, and, then he won a second Nobel Prize for superconductivity, which is--and his solution was something that had applications in all areas of physics. Cosmology, particle physics, the Higgs mechanism is based on what is the, is intellectual essence of his solution to the superconductivity problem. So this is, this is a very serious place, you know, and, you really have to do things at a deep level here to get appreciated. And I like that. It's very different from MIT. MIT was--there's a large publicity machinery that, sort of the academic publicity complex, you know (laughter). There can be substance, but that's not necessarily what, how you become famous at MIT.$$Was there a physicist at MIT that you really looked up to as a--(simultaneous)--$$Yeah, at the time, yeah, Patrick Lee. I talk to him a lot. He helped me get hired here.

Donald Lyons, Sr.

Physicist and physics professor Donald R. Lyons was born in 1954 in Stamps, Arkansas. His father, Patrick Donald Lyons, Jr., was a bricklayer; his mother, a housewife. After attending J.L. Jones Elementary School and J.A. Phillips Jr., High School, Lyons graduated from, Webster High School in 1972. While in high school, Lyons enrolled in the Upward Bound program. With his parents unable to pay for college, the Upward Bound program provided Lyons with the opportunity to earn college credit prior to graduation, gain experience working in a university laboratory, and earn a full academic scholarship to attend Grambling State University. Lyons graduated from Grambling State University in 1976 with his B.S. degrees in physics and mathematics. He then enrolled in Stanford University where he studied under Nobel Laureates Arthur L. Schawlow and Theodor Hansch and received his M.S. degree in physics in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree in physics in 1982.

From 1975 to 1976, Lyons served as a research fellow at Bell Telephone Laboratories in the Solar Physics Group, and as a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory in the Solid State Physics Department. He then joined Corning, Inc. in 1982 and was appointed as a senior scientist in the Applied Physics Department. Lyons moved to California in 1985 and was hired as a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Applied Technology Section until 1990. Lyons continued his career in industry as scientist for Grumman Aerospace Corporation where he directed the Sensor Sciences and Materials Structures Groups at the Grumman Corporate Research Center. In 1993, Lyons joined the faculty of Hampton University and was named the University Endowed Professor of Physics. At Hampton University, Lyons also served as the director of the Research Center for Optical Physics.

Lyons has successfully applied for and received several U.S. Patents and fifteen research grants and contracts related to the use of distributed Bragg reflection sensors for commercial applications. In addition, he has created projects for the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, and the National Institutes of Health. Lyons was recognized by the Upward Bound program for directing successful programs that center on mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. The American Physical Society and the Virginia Business Observer have both featured Lyons and recognized his contributions to science and technology.

Donald R. Lyons was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 20, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.135

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/20/2013

Last Name

Lyons

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Stamps

HM ID

LYO02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

4/2/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Donald Lyons, Sr. (1954 - ) is the University Endowed Professor of Physics and director of the Research Center for Optical Physics at Hampton University.

Employment

Bell Laboratories

Corning Incorporated

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Grumman Corporation

Hampton University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:403,3:807,8:3231,59:6195,69:12415,174:12820,180:15770,201:27070,355:28726,394:29158,402:31606,458:35814,472:38550,494:45004,561:49886,600:57371,749:57655,754:59927,863:64542,940:74546,1102:74986,1109:79298,1184:83346,1250:83874,1258:93566,1308:93822,1313:97178,1345:97522,1350:101700,1406:105660,1432:105992,1437:118076,1560:119748,1580:122104,1619:122712,1626:131536,1686:142416,1780:143892,1821:145122,1840:147886,1863:148402,1870:152852,1902:155171,1946:155645,1953:157580,1972:157928,1979:162976,2008:163531,2014:166639,2054:167194,2063:167749,2069:175161,2135:178318,2189:178780,2200:192772,2302:201236,2332:201500,2337:201830,2343:202622,2356:203876,2385:204140,2390:204536,2397:212490,2493$0,0:838,11:1324,19:1729,25:19545,325:19861,330:29008,432:29398,558:52834,833:53536,845:73128,1132:75585,1162:76972,1189:77264,1194:110500,1786:117200,1858:121360,1969:125695,2035:126120,2041:139715,2190:140170,2198:140430,2203:144184,2255:156686,2419:156994,2424:157379,2430:169462,2589:169984,2600:170506,2610:170738,2615:171086,2627:171608,2639:172594,2672:179897,2777:182263,2835:184993,2860:188448,2888:193432,2989:193877,2995:197488,3008:199760,3045:207348,3121:207750,3129:208085,3135:215254,3290:216527,3317:219274,3369:219542,3374:230753,3496:231167,3504:231719,3514:233390,3530
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald Lyons' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald Lyons lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Lyons describes his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Lyons talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Lyons describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Lyons talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Lyons talks about his father's club

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Lyons talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Lyons describes when he decided to become a physicist

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald Lyons talks about his father's talents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Lyons talks about his father's building projects

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Lyons describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Lyons talks about living with his neighbor growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Lyons talks about the church he attended as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Lyons describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald Lyons talks about his elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald Lyons talks about the disturbances in his schools

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald Lyons describes segregation in Minden, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donald Lyons talks about being in the band in middle and high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Lyons describes his experience with Upward Bound in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Lyons describes his approach to learning while at Grambling State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Lyons talks about his discipline in learning at Grambling State University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Lyons describes his time at the Bell Summer Internship Program

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Lyons talks about the African American physicists he met at the Bell Summer Internship Program

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Lyons talks about his work at the Bell Summer Internship Program

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Lyons talks about his time at Grambling State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Lyons describes his summer working at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Lyons describes why he chose Stanford University for graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Lyons describes becoming a Xerox Fellow at Stanford University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donald Lyons describe how a laser is formed

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donald Lyons talks about his graduate research on intermodulation and polarization modulation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donald Lyons talks about his first talk before the American Physical Society

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donald Lyons describes why he chose to concentrate on optical physics

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donald Lyons discusses his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donald Lyons describes being hired by Corning

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donald Lyons describes how he designed and built his laboratory at Corning

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donald Lyons describes learning the patent development process at Corning

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donald Lyons describes writing the patent on the Braggs grating wavemeter

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donald Lyons talks about his research on nerve fibers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Donald Lyons talks about the transition from Corning to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Donald Lyons talks about being demoted at Livermore National Laboratory for his research

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Donald Lyons describes the transition from Livermore National Laboratory to Grumman Aerospace Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Donald Lyons talks about his patent at Grumman Aerospace Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Donald Lyons describes the transition from Grumman Aerospace Corporation to Hampton University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Donald Lyons talks about the physics department at Hampton University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Donald Lyons talks about historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Donald Lyons talks about his grants and projects at Hampton University

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Donald Lyons talks about professors at Hampton University

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Donald Lyons explains why he chose to become a professor at Hampton University

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Donald Lyons describes his work on fiber optic artificial nerves

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Donald Lyons describes how artificial fiber optic nerves interact with human nerves

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Donald Lyons talks about his inability to procure funding for his research on artificial fiber optic nerves

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Donald Lyons talks about his mentoring of students at Hampton University

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Donald Lyons talks about teaching and research at Hampton University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Donald Lyons describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Donald Lyons reflects on his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Donald Lyons reflects on his life

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Donald Lyons talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Donald Lyons talks about the mother figures in his life

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Donald Lyons talks about how he would like to be remembered.

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Donald Lyons describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
Donald Lyons talks about living with his neighbor growing up
Donald Lyons describes his approach to learning while at Grambling State University
Transcript
At what juncture did you go to live with Mrs. [Trillie B.] Jones?$$I think I went to live with--I'm going to call her Mama from here on out I think I went to live at Mama's house when I was about six years old. I didn't live there all the time, I would stay at my house and I would stay at mama's house and I would go back to my house, you know, and be back and forth up to a point. But the thing I remember about being at Mama's house was that it was so peaceful. No noise, you know, very quiet and like I said she actually got me when she was about sixty years old. She had had-- I had stayed with her when I was a baby but I didn't remember. She took care of me when I was a baby for a little while. My mother [Ethel Bell Pearson] went to stay with her for while because of the domestic problems.$$I was going to ask if that was kind of-(simultaneous)$$That was, that was the motivation.$$--the gauge of when you were going to be there was the domestic issues.$$Right. So I was a baby, she had to leave in a hurry, she felt she had to leave in a hurry so she went and stayed with my mama, I mean I went and stayed with mama. She took me, She took me up there and she took care of me.$$Your other brothers and sisters too or just you?$$No just me because I was a baby, the older ones were able to some extent fend for themselves, not that much but more so than I was.$$Tell us about Mrs. Jones, what was she like and--?$$Very interesting personality. She had, she was-- Before she was a Jones she was a Smith. She outlived both of her husbands. I never met Mr. Smith because he was already deceased by the time I knew him, by the time I was conscious of knowing Mama. Mr. Jones, we called him grandfather, he was her second husband and so the thing I could tell you about her personality was that she was a very strong willed Christian woman. Very strong physically at age sixty she was still seemingly to have as much energy as a twenty year old. She was always working; she would get up at three o'clock in the morning and go to bed at seven or eight o'clock at night.$$So did she work at home or did she--?$$She had retired by the time I knew her. She said she used to work on an aircraft, so I don't know the history of that but she was born in 1892 and she had seen a lot of life before she had me there. The main thing about her is that, like I said, she was a very strong Christian and so we lived in church and so that was a big part of my life when I was growing up.$So did you stay in touch with the Upward Bound teacher at Grambling [State University, Grambling, Louisiana]?$$I did for some years but after awhile it started to fade--once I finished Grambling and went to Stanford [University, Stanford, California] there was no time to do anything. I mean just no time, you know. We can talk about that a little bit more.$$So Grambling--Emmett Johnson taught you precalculus. Is this when you first start at Grambling?$$No this was in high school.$$Oh you are still in high school.$$I'm still in high school and then I started learning calculus. Then when I took calculus, you know, it was "A" in all the math courses. So calculus and took linear algebra and took differential equations under Emmett Johnson and I told somebody the other day because they were asking me, I don't know who was asking this question I said you know, one of the--another profound turning point for me was we took linear algebra we had done, the three of us those three high school students, we stayed together all the way through. They both ended up being math majors and then they got married and then I was a physics major, but I actually started to outperform them just because we had one cal [calculus] class where the guy would come in and just give a pop quiz every time. And so, gave a pop quiz I always failed it, you know. I said, "Wait a minute, so he says he's going to give a pop quiz." I say," I don't how to pass a pop quiz," the only way I could pass is to just do all the problems, so I just did all of the problems, all of them. So when he would give a quiz I could just fly through those problems in my head, I would be finished in no time perfect scores from then on out. But that was the trick, the trick was to do all the problems before he even gave them to you. So he could pick any problem it wouldn't matter because once you do them there was a technique for solving calculus problems; there are techniques for solving everything. You know, once you do them, I mean people had worked these things out centuries ago. He would give a pop quiz and they would say, "How do you do so well on them?" And I said, "Do all the problems."$$Now did anybody else catch on to your techniques and do the same thing?$$Nobody did it, I'm sure they understood it but I don't know why they didn't do it, I don't know why. Because sometimes there was no--they would have examples then they would have the problems and there is something about math that after awhile you start seeing a pattern. I can't really explain past that but there is a pattern. A pattern is something that people have laid out in terms of theorems and stuff like that, but in your head it's a pattern and so I caught the pattern by doing all the problems.$$Now that's essential to my learning math. We've been told by people that involved in math is that you have got to-- it's sequential, you have got to learn one thing before you can another and as you go on you-- You can't start with algebra without knowing fractions, you know, that sort of thing. So you're going ahead and doing the whole problem, so this is labor intensive, of course, so even if somebody knew how to do it, it's not a trick, it's labor intensive.$$It's not a trick.$$You have to do all the problems.$$It's labor intensive and I still ask, sometimes I ask my son, I say, you know, they have a lot more to do, I think, in high school than we had but I said, you know, "What else do you have to do? You're in school, school is about learning."

Ketevi Assamagan

Physicist Ketevi Adikle Assamagan was born in Port-Gentil, Gabon on March 12th, 1963. After raduating from high school, Assamagan attended the University of Benin in Togo, West Africa, and earned his B.S. degree in 1985. Assamagan was then awarded a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant award to purse higher education in the United States. He went on to graduate from Ball State University in 1989 with his M.S. degree in theoretical condensed matter physics and his Ph.D. degree in nuclear and particle physics from the University of Virginia in 1995.

After earning his Ph.D. degree, Assamagan became a postdoctoral research associate in the Jefferson Lab at Hampton University. There, he worked on a project called the spectrometer wire chamber, which helped gather information about light. Assamagan developed a system for the rotation and angular position of the spectrometer, which contributed to its data collection of certain properties of light. Assamagan remained at Hampton until 1998, when he took a position as a research associate at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. From 1998 to 2001, Assamagan worked with CERN's particle accelerator to find the Higgs Boson, a large elementary particle whose existence has not yet been proven. It is thought to play a role in how other elementary particles get their masses. In 2001, Assamagan was hired by the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory where he works on a physics project called the ATLAS Project. In addition to his research in particle physics, Assamagan has also supervised and mentored both graduate and undergraduate students. Additionally, he helped to organize the African School of Fundamental Physics, an educational workshop funded in part by Brookhaven National Laboratory. The workshop is intended to give students around the world and in Africa the resources and support that they need to be internationally competitive physicists.

Assamagan is a member of the American Physics Society, the National Society of Black Physicist, and the African Physical Society. He is a recipient of the Brookhaven National Laboratory Outstanding Student Mentoring Award.

Assamagan lives and works in New York.

Physicist Ketevi Assamagan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.104

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/12/2013

Last Name

Assamagan

Maker Category
Middle Name

Adikle

Occupation
Schools

University of Benin

Ball State University

University of Virginia

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ketevi

Birth City, State, Country

Gabon

HM ID

ASS03

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/12/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Upton

Country

West Africa

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Ketevi Assamagan (1963 - ) has worked on the cutting edge of physics research at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.and for the the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Employment

University of Virginia

Hampton University

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:14040,102:14480,107:22123,151:37150,299:37774,309:38086,314:38632,323:39412,331:39724,336:50140,450:51280,470:58304,539:70036,645:74810,806:80208,833:82557,851:85939,893:88512,915:94060,979:94420,1083:131900,1504:132316,1509:150480,1772:153980,1850:154540,1859:161546,1941:178330,2226:181866,2312:185274,2331:186562,2385:217612,2765:218032,2771:234830,2911:236630,2928:237330,2936:248098,3078:248734,3086:249264,3092:257676,3303:259601,3385:307352,3829:317070,3941:321966,4004:334040,4165:345826,4310:349945,4380:358488,4480:359076,4488:363388,4540:364956,4567:373084,4649:374842,4668:379156,4690:381796,4734:382654,4749:383182,4759:383710,4769:389320,4823:393504,4841:393892,4846:394280,4851:401260,4931:401520,4936:411970,5034:418727,5101:419141,5108:426600,5215:429480,5263$0,0:27670,306:38310,391:40229,411:40633,416:44610,447:44958,452:46611,478:47307,493:50700,549:65177,775:68344,826:71870,856:83005,1037:113692,1358:149360,1691:157640,1840:158150,1847:168541,1948:169672,1970:170455,1981:176187,2045:186030,2185:186430,2191:190186,2228:190442,2234:193080,2258:214201,2479:220525,2569:225916,2679:227407,2703:227975,2713:240278,2904:244256,2949:254985,3061:319810,4045
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ketevi Assamagan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the family life of the Fon tribe

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the slave trade in the Kingdom of Dahomey

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan shares a West African parable

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his father's occupation as an auto mechanic

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about how his parents' marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about religion

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the religion of the Fon

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan compares Catholicism and the Fon religion

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his childhood neighborhood in Togo

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about music in Togo

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his primary school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about living with his grandparents during primary school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his primary school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his experience in primary school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about living in Aneho, Togo for middle school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the difficulty of obtaining education in Togo

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his middle school education and Gnassingbe Eyadema

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his mentors in middle school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his high school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his mentors in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about being left-handed in Togo

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ketevi Assamagan describes graduating from high school

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about paying for his university education pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about paying for his university education pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his time at the University of Benin

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the lack of instruments and facilities at the University of Benin

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his extracurricular activities at the University of Benin

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about receiving a scholarship to attend graduate school in the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his transition from Togo to Ball State University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his time at Ball State University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his extracurricular activities at Ball State University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the transition from Ball State University to the University of Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his time at the University of Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his time as a post-doctoral fellow at Hampton University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his research at Hampton University and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the Higgs boson pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the Higgs boson pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan describes how an accelerator works pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan describes how an accelerator works pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan describes how an accelerator works pt. 3

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his work on the muon spectrometer

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his positions in the ATLAS project

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the pile-up problem in particle accelerators

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan describes being the Higgs Working Group Convener for ATLAS

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his involvement in scientific collaborations

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan describes teaching in South Africa

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the discovery of a Higgs-like particle pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the discovery of a Higgs-like particle pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the Large Hadron Collider pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the Large Hadron Collider pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the research of the ATLAS project pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the research of the ATLAS project pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan reflects on his life

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his involvement in mentoring students

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$9

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Ketevi Assamagan describes his doctoral dissertation
Ketevi Assamagan talks about the research of the ATLAS project pt. 1
Transcript
Tell us what your Ph.D. dissertation was about.$$Yeah, no, it was about measuring the fraction of the time where the, you know, an elementary particle that we call the pion decays in a particular way. So where, which is like one part, in 108. That's, you know, how rare it is, this decay. But we wanted to find that and measure that particular rate precisely. One part in 108 is what the theories tell us. We wanted to measure it. And if we do that with very good precision, we should be able to extract some theoretical predictions which will help us understand what we call the standard model. So--$$So the standard model, explain what that is for people who are watching this. Well, what is the standard model in physics?$$Yeah, the standard model is basically of particle, fundamental particle physics. It's basically a collection of our understanding of how fundamental particle work and what are the forces that governs their inaction with matter, you know, as we know in the universe. So--$$Is this like a theory of matter, like the basic theory?$$Yeah, it is--yes, it's a collection of theories that fits together to create a picture of nature for us, for the standard, for the fundamental particles.$$And the, but there's still a lot of questions involved in the standard, but it's not just--it's not a fixed standard or is there a lot of questions within that being answered all the time or people are trying to work on, right?$$Yes, it's, we have realized that it is theory that has been proven against experiment. So we believe that our understanding is on the right track. But there are lot of things that we still don't understand so it's clear that a standard model, although it has been very successful, cannot be the complete view of nature. There are a lot of things that we still don't understand and that nowadays in particle physics, we call them "beyond the standard model". So these are things that, new things that we should find to clarify our understanding for it.$$Okay, so you were studying, what they call the p-meson (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$Yeah, it's the pion, yeah, (simultaneous)--$$Pion meson--$$Yeah, it's the pi-meson, yeah.$$Okay.$$So, it has a particular decay. If you measure that precisely, it will tell us a lot of information about the standard. For example, why do we have three type of neutrinos? Why hasn't nature made four type, you know? And so if you measure these things, perimeter precisely, it will tell us whether there's room for the fourth one. So that's what we were studying in this experiment.$$And by decay of a particle, we're talking, I mean we're talking about a period where the particle exists and then it fades out of existence or some--or what is it?$$Yeah, exactly. A lot of these particles, they are unstable. So it's like radioactive decay, if you will. So they have what we call a mean lifetime. So if you have ten thousand of them sitting there at one time, and you came back two years later, by then they would have all decay away or a fraction of them would have decay. So, and many of these particles, they exist very briefly. So they are created, and then they begin to disappear by disintegrating. So the energy has to be conserved, yeah. So in physics, we hold true the fundamental understanding that energy is not lost. It's always conserved. So the particle is created with some energy, and then disintegrate into other particles, and the energy that is used to create it, is still one that is used to create the new particle into which it has disintegrated. So when you do energy balance, you have to check out. But a lot of these particles that we see, they don't live very long.$$Okay, so what did you find out, in your research on the pion?$$Yeah, so what we did was, when we measured this rate, we improved the precision quite a lot over previous measurement. It wasn't, we were not a first to measure this way. And, but because the previous measurement didn't have a good precision, there was a lot of room for uncertainty. You couldn't tap because the measurement has a lot of errors, I mean not errors, but uncertainty as we call it. So we redesigned the experiment in order to reduce those uncertainties so that our measurement will be precise. The more precise it is, you know, you will be in a better position to say, "Okay, we know this parameter to this precision. Therefore, there is not much room for speculation or for other things." So we are able to improve the precision on the measurement by quite a huge factor. And it was 4 percent, the previous measurement. We got it to, we got it down to point--half a percent, to half a percent. So that was almost a factor of eight improvement in the precision, so, which was very good because it eliminated a lot of speculations about the existence of this more than three type of neutrinos and things like that. So it means that our measurement says that the standard model assumption, if you will, of neutrinos is more or less, you know, more and more correct. In fact, we don't--if there is any provability of a fourth generation of these neutrinos, it's very, very small. And that's what our, you know--whereas the previous measurement could not say that more effectively.$Can you talk about the objectives of the ATLAS Physics project? I know that, I mean I've--I was reading a poster in the room when I came in. And the first objective was, it was to discover the unknown, unknown information (unclear)--$$Yeah, so it's, the program is really to be sensitive to phenomena in physics, phenomena in nature that we don't know yet or we're not familiar with. And progress in physics have been made that way, you know. More than a hundred years ago, people did not know the electron. They didn't know x-rays. They just were doing various experiments. These things show up and they have to study them, but when they saw them, then it really got interest and they studied further. And nowadays, electrons are used in all of the, our electronics things, as we call it, come from the understanding from what electron was, which people did not sit down and design. So that was the unknown at that point. That's what also we want to find out. If there's something out there that we could be sensitive to, we want to know about it because ultimately, it could benefit society. Today, the electron, all of our electronic stuff are based on our understanding of, you know, what the electron is and how to use it and so forth, you know.$$Okay, and now what about dark matter? What is ATLAS trying to do with dark matter?$$Yeah, we also want to discover what is the nature of dark matter. It is believed that our visible universe is not the full--doesn't carry the full mass of the universe as we know it. In other words, if you, you know, sit down and say, "Okay, I want to compute all of the masses that are in the universe," put them together and start adding them up, you know. Now, which you could do. There are the stars, all of the planet, the galaxies, we can do that. So that's our visible universe, things that we can see with the naked eye or we see from our telescope and so forth. When you do that, you come out to be like 4 percent of what is out there in the universe, 4, 4 percent. That means 96 percent is something else. Then, you know, matter as we know it, take the stars, galaxy, so forth. You add them up together. It's a very small fraction of our universe. Then, you know, people have studies how stars rotate in galaxies and how galaxies rotate, you know, around each other and things like that. And they have seen some deviation from Newton's Law. Newton's Law tell us exactly how these things should rotate. And from that deviation, you can infer that there is a large amount of matter in the universe that we are not directly sensitive to, which is called dark matter. It effects the rotation of some of these galaxies, some of these stars and galaxies and so forth. We cannot see it, but we know that these things are not obeying the laws of physics as we know it unless you assume that it's a large mass that is affecting them. So that is some dark matter, and that's like 23 percent of the universe. And then the rest is what we call dark energy. The rest, you know, if you take the 4 percent, 23 percent, you subtract out of the 100 percent, what is left is what we call dark energy. But it's even more bizarre than what we understand. Like, you know, we know, for example, galaxies are drifting away from each other. And the further they are, the further they are, the faster they are drifting away. And we don't know what this new force, or what is pushing them apart, but we know from Newton's Law, if you have two large bodies, they should be attracting each other. And so there is something bigger than gravity pulling this stuff apart. And that's what is dark energy. But at the LHC [Large Hadron Collider, with the Atlas detector we believe that we could be sensitive to detect a candidate of dark matter. The dark matter would be particle just like the Higgs boson or the proton or something. And we could be sensitive to it, and, and so that's one of the objective, to see whether dark matter is a particle of that could show up in the LHC experiment.

Warren Buck

Physicist Warren Wesley Buck, III was born on February 16, 1946 to Warren W. Buck, Jr. and Mildred G. Buck in Washington, D.C. He was raised in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Spingarn High School in 1963. After graduating from Morgan State University in 1968 with his B.S. degree in mathematics, Buck enrolled at the College of William and Mary where he received his M.S. degree in experimental and theoretical plasma physics in 1970 and his Ph.D. degree in theoretical relativistic nuclear physics in 1976.

Throughout his career, Buck has continued to do research in physics and has published numerous papers in academic journals. Most of his research interests focused on nuclear and subatomic particles, including studies of the interactions between particles and anti-particles and the nature of mesons and the quark model. Buck joined the faculty of Hampton University in 1984 after sailing on his motorless boat for three consecutive years from Massachusetts to the Bahamas. He became a full professor at Hampton University in 1989. He also helped create the Ph.D. program in physics, which was the first Ph.D. degree program at Hampton University. Buck was a member of the team that established the science program at the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia. He was also the founding director of the Nuclear/High Energy Physics Research Center of Excellence at Hampton University. In 1999, Buck was appointed chancellor and dean of the University of Washington, Bothell. He served in the position for six years. During his term, the University of Washington, Bothell became a four-year institution, and its new permanent campus was opened in the fall of 2000. Buck is also a painter, blending humanistic and physical elements in his art.

Buck has been recognized for his work as an educator and a researcher, being elected to membership in the American Physical Society (APS) and creating the popular Hampton University Graduate Studies (HUGS) summer school for nuclear physics graduate students worldwide. Buck was given the Hulon Willis Association Impact Award for his work within the African American community at the College of William and Mary. In 2001, Buck was named a “Giant in Science,” by the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network. Buck has served on many advisory boards and committees, including the Committee on Education of the American Physical Society. He has also served on the board of directors of the Pacific Science Center. Buck married Cate Buck in 2006.

Warren Buck was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 29, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.084

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2013

Last Name

Buck

Maker Category
Middle Name

Wesley

Occupation
Schools

Spingarn STAY High School

Lincoln University

Morgan State University

Johns Hopkins University

The College of William & Mary

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Warren

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BUC01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Juan Islands

Favorite Quote

Everything will change. Nothing's permanent.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

2/16/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili (Green)

Short Description

Physicist Warren Buck (1946 - ) , founding director of the Nuclear/High Energy Physics Research Center of Excellence at Hampton University, is chancellor emeritus and professor at the University of Washington, Bothell.

Employment

Science and Technology Program

University of Washington, Bothell

University of Washington, Seattle

Hampton University

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (CEBAF)

Gutenberg University

Morehouse College

Michigan State University

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center

College of William and Mary

University of Paris

State University of New York

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Bowie State University

John Hopkins University

Favorite Color

Cerulean Blue, Burnt Umber

Timing Pairs
0,0:2110,28:16990,314:19315,354:20059,363:28122,466:31870,495:32950,518:33190,523:36978,560:39835,591:42085,647:43060,663:43510,670:47097,696:47934,709:50350,721:50710,726:54520,778:55564,808:65775,912:66370,921:66965,929:68240,947:73005,995:80534,1066:80999,1072:83615,1086:84056,1096:84399,1104:84742,1113:84987,1119:88271,1162:88928,1174:102316,1329:111424,1415:111892,1422:112438,1431:113140,1443:119927,1552:120584,1562:127880,1669:136318,1784:136634,1789:139794,1830:140584,1844:141216,1858:149810,1992:150195,2001:169795,2251:171240,2284:171665,2290:174070,2301:178137,2393:178884,2403:179382,2410:182287,2447:182702,2453:183283,2461:189392,2514:189959,2524:193170,2565:195480,2625:196110,2656:196390,2662:199050,2723:199610,2733:199960,2739:206625,2796:207206,2804:212488,2863:212824,2868:220060,2935$0,0:13498,171:13946,176:22830,229:24744,254:25179,260:25962,280:29181,330:35514,377:36162,387:37602,413:38466,428:41992,463:42332,469:45460,532:47364,569:48112,589:64570,774:71106,851:82734,1080:90502,1126:91818,1144:93228,1165:93698,1171:94356,1179:95390,1191:100894,1256:102004,1272:102818,1284:114215,1438:118940,1596:127697,1862:127949,1937:139858,2046:140605,2060:141186,2087:146249,2180:146581,2185:151000,2201:151783,2207:152740,2219:154915,2249:155437,2256:162600,2324:165480,2332:166110,2342:175984,2446:176656,2491:177040,2496:183761,2602:184166,2608:191330,2715:193124,2752:193514,2758:203535,2881:203827,2887:204119,2893:204411,2898:208572,2991:209521,3012:210908,3041:218866,3127:220209,3152:223480,3192:223744,3197:225196,3230:249180,3565:249605,3571:249945,3576:250640,3603:262665,3704:263250,3715:267430,3777
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Warren Wesley Buck's interview - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his father, Warren Buck, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Warren Wesley Buck's interview - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley describes his mother's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley describes his mother's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley describes his mother's growing up in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley talks about his mother's experience at Lincoln University, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Warren Wesley describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Warren Wesley describes his father's growing up in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Warren Wesley talks about his father winning a lawsuit against the federal government

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his father's education and his employment as a draftsman

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Warren Wesley Buck describes how his parents met at Lincoln University

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about the neighborhoods where he grew up in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley Buck describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his experience with segregation at River Terrace Elementary School and Benning Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his segregated neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and his extracurricular interests in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his childhood interest in scientific gadgets and science shows on television

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his childhood experiments with insects

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Warren Buck talks about his unfortunate experience with raising mice, and his growing up with boxer dogs named Jingles and Taffy

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Warren Buck talks about his demonstration of rain that received recognition at a district science fair, and his elementary school mentor, Mr. Downing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Warren Buck describes his experience in junior high school, and the lack of mentoring that he received there

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Warren Buck describes his experience in the Boy Scouts, and talks about becoming an Eagle Scout

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Warren Buck describes his experience on his Boy Scouts trip to Philmont, New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Warren Buck describes his academic experience at Spingarn High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Warren Buck describes his experience with running track at Spingarn High School, and the 440 yard dash at the Penn Relays

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Warren Buck talks about his academic performance and the poor counseling that he received at Spingarn High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about graduating from Spingarn High School and his decision to attend Lincoln University in Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his experience at Lincoln University in Missouri, and his decision to leave after the first two years

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his reasons for leaving Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his jobs in Washington, D.C. after he returned from Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about the Director of Selective Service who signed his deferment from the Vietnam War in 1965, allowing him to attend college

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his mentors and his academic achievement in mathematics and physics at Morgan State College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his positive college experience at Morgan State College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his decision to pursue graduate studies at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck recalls the rioting in Washington, D.C. on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his mother's involvement in early childhood education, and her being one of the first teachers for the Head Start Program

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck recalls facing discrimination in Williamsburg, but feeling welcomed by the physics department at the College of William and Mary

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his summer research experience at Johns Hopkins University's mechanics department in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his enthusiasm for his graduate work in the area of plasma physics at the College of William and Mary

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about founding the Black Student Organization at the College of William and Mary, and his political activism there

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his decision to leave the College of William and Mary with a master's degree in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about nearly joining the Black Panther Party, his introduction into sailing, and the break-up of his first marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his experience with integrating the Tampa Yacht Club in 1971

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his relationship with his master's degree advisor, Frederick Crownfield

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Warren Wesley Buck describes the scientific basis of his doctoral dissertation, titled 'Deuteron Wave Functions with Relativistic Interactions'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about the value of combining theoretical and experimental physics to understand a scientific problem

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about the discovery of the electron in 1898, and describes how a television works

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley Buck describes the findings of his doctoral dissertation, titled 'Deuteron Wave Functions with Relativistic Interactions'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his father attending his scientific presentation at an American Physical Society [APS] meeting

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his experience in the Bahamas in the spring of 1976, and describes his post-doctoral appointment at Stony Brook University

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his post-doctoral research on matter and anti-matter interactions, at Stony Brook University

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Warren Wesley Buck describes the scientific community's response to his post-doctoral research findings on matter and anti-matter interactions

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Warren Wesley Buck recalls the rioting in Washington, D.C. on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated
Warren Wesley Buck describes his post-doctoral research on matter and anti-matter interactions, at Stony Brook University
Transcript
Okay, now you graduated for Morgan [State College, Baltimore, Maryland] in '68 [1968].$$'68, 1960--I graduated from Morgan in '68 [1968].$$And now just before you graduated, Dr. [Martin Luther] King was assassinated, right?$$Yes.$$Yeah, that--$$Yeah, so I was--that night that Dr. King was, was, was killed, I was working at the Recreation Department at Highland Park. And--$$This is here in D.C. [Washington, District of Columbia].$$In D.C.$$Okay.$$Yeah, and that night after he was shot, the place was quiet as I'd ever heard it. It was, it was definitely silent. I went--we were going outside and couldn't hear, I couldn't hear any birds or anything and it seemed like it was a, it, it was just ghostly quiet. And then suddenly everybody came out of their apartments and there was rioting. There was just rioting, rioting, they were burning cars and tires and it was really a, a frantic. And I remember leaving, closing down the, the rec center and at the time I lived on Massachusetts Avenue right by Union Station on the, on the I guess the south side of Union Station in an apartment complex which is still there. And that's--cause I would, I would walk to the station to go to, to get the train to go over to Baltimore every day. And I took the bus home and, and when I got to my stop, I got off the, the National Guard was all over the place. And in my neighborhood, a liquor store window had been broken into and people were stealing and the guard was out in the jeeps, the jeeps there were--it was a jeep parked right in front of my apartment complex. And I couldn't get in, so then I convinced them that I lived there. So they, they were actually quite nice. I didn't feel like I was harassed. I never was pushed and, and, and you know, handcuffed or anything like that. I never, never felt like I was in that level of danger or, or suspicion. But I just talked my way in and got into the apartment and never came out, but that was a night where, you know, half the city was being burned. And it was a, it was a miserable, it was a miserable night, just a miserable night that this man who literally put his life out there to change our lives. To, put, put us in a much better place was killed. And my--I think about that because I think certainly in the black community, leaders get their heads knocked off. Every, you know every time you stick up and try to do something really well, and make something happen, the white society will kill you, move you out, you disappear, you know something happens. And this was one more of those things and I think what led to those riots was this was the last straw. You know this was like, this is it. And so people, you know people were burning not their own stuff because of, of not liking their own stuff, but there was nothing left to do. You know, despair at its, at its worse. Just pure despair. And so yeah, so that was the year--I graduated that year.$So went to Stony Brook [University, Stony Brook, New York] and I think it was 11,000 dollars a year job, post-doc. And with a, with a girlfriend. And we got married the next year at Stony Brook, Linda Horn. And had an amazing time at Stony Brook. So right away I got put on a project that was on antimatter, matter-antimatter interactions. And basically you do these wave functions again, these nuclear wave functions in a special way. And so it was really quite nice to make a, have a--it's a transformation that you make, a mathematical transformation that you make on the, on the theoretical construct of the, of the potential. And, and voila! You have matter/antimatter interaction going. So did these calculations with a fellow from Paris [France] and a fellow from Brookhaven National Lab [Upton, New York], Carl Dover at Brookhaven who became a big mentor for me. And (unclear) at Paris and so we had the world's best nuclear potentials at our, at our call. Of course the people from, from Bonn, Germany thought theirs was the best, but we, we thought we had the best ones. And, and we could look at all the different ways of theory would predict these nuclear antinuclear interactions and come with--come up with a, an average. Kind of like a, a model independent study they'd call it so that we'd find out what things are--what characteristics are common to all of them. And then, and then we couldn't get the paper published. And we tried and tried and tried. And finally got it published, and the moment we got it published, everybody wanted a copy. It was a, it was a blockbuster hit. It was really quite, quite nice.$$Something that really stretched what people thought, thought they knew at that time?$$They thought they knew what they were doing. I always seem to get caught up in things where nobody knows what they're--haven't done before. I seem to find these things, these areas where nobody's been before and I love that, actually love that kind of--$$Let's kind of slow this down a minute and tell us like what did you, what did, did you all find that other people didn't know?$$So we were the, we were the only ones, we were the first and only ones who could, could give a good description of what the bound states would be. So for example with the deuteron, there's only one bound state. With the, with the atoms, with the, the hydrogen atom for example, there's a lot of bound states. That is to say that the electron and the proton in the atom stay together no matter what the excitation is. Well it's not no matter what the excitation is, but this is a large range of excitations you can give to the hydrogen atom, and it still stays bound. For a deuteron, you can only have one excitation and it will break apart. So this is--it's very delicate. With the, with the nucleon, antinuclear atomic state or nuclear states, there was many, many, many states. Not quite as many as the, as the, as the elect--as they hydrogen atom, but a lot of states. And they're deeply bound. So instead of being repulsive when they get close, they're attractive when they get close. So it's really very strong, very powerful forces. And of course there's also annihilation part of it. It can annihilate, there's a huge annihilation cross-section which means it--the--once they get to a certain point and slow down, then become at rest, they just blow up. And they break up into a bunch of proton, excuse me, pions and photons, so it's a lot of, a lot of energy coming out. And basically it, it has, it has about 100 to 1,000 times more energy in the interactions than the regular nuclear force. So it's very powerful, a very powerful interaction. And here I was working on this, so, so we worked on it and published a nice paper on it.

Oliver Baker

Physicist Oliver Keith Baker was born in McGehee, Arkansas to parents Oliver Walter and Yvonne Brigham Baker. After graduating with his B.S. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981, Baker enrolled at Stanford University where he received his M.S. degrees in physics and mathematics in 1984 and his Ph.D. degree in physics in 1987. Baker pursued post-doctoral research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

Upon graduation, Baker joined the faculty of the physics department at Hampton University as an assistant professor with a concurrent appointment as a staff scientist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab). He was soon promoted to full professor in the physics department before being named as the University Endowed Professor of Physics. In 2006, Baker was appointed as a Professor of physics at Yale University; and, in 2010, he became the Director of Yale University’s A.W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory (WNSL), which houses the world’s most powerful tandem Van de Graaf particle accelerator. He also worked as a researcher on the ATLAS experimental team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland where a novel particle was discovered as a candidate for the Higgs boson. An accomplished lecturer and writer, Baker has published in numerous academic and scientific journals. In addition, Baker received a presidential appointment to the board of the National Medal of Science, and serves on several national and international scientific committees.

Baker was the recipient of several teaching awards while teaching at Hampton University, including the E. L. Hamm, Sr. Distinguished Teaching Award and the National Award for Teaching Learning and Technology. The American Physical Society bestowed upon Baker the Edward Bouchet Award for his outstanding contributions to nuclear and particle physics research, and he was honored by the National Conference of Black Physics Students and the National Society of Black Physicists with the Elmer Imes Award. In addition, Baker was elected to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and received a citation from the governor of Arkansas for his mentorship with students pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

Oliver Keith Baker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.068

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/10/2013

Last Name

Baker

Maker Category
Middle Name

Keith

Occupation
Schools

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Oliver

Birth City, State, Country

McGehee

HM ID

BAK06

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

7/18/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meat

Short Description

Physicist Oliver Baker (1959 - ) is Professor and Director of the A.W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory (WNSL) at Yale University, and a researcher on the ATLAS particle physics experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) that discovered a novel particle which is currently being examined as a candidate for the Higgs boson.

Employment

Dorothy Danforth Compton Fellowship

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Hampton University

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (CEBAF)

Yale University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:1890,11:2610,20:5790,37:7006,61:7518,73:7966,81:8478,90:8990,100:9310,106:9566,111:9822,116:10078,121:11294,145:11614,151:11998,159:12830,177:13918,208:14366,216:18190,250:18550,258:18790,263:19270,274:19810,287:20290,300:20830,317:21790,333:23170,369:23410,374:26663,391:28164,414:29902,436:30297,464:31245,488:31798,497:32351,508:35669,557:36380,573:36933,591:37249,599:37644,605:38039,612:39856,642:48530,699:49270,710:50380,728:52304,753:53192,772:53636,779:55560,826:55930,833:58076,859:69230,948:69635,954:70688,965:71255,974:74009,1020:74414,1026:75062,1036:75467,1042:76034,1051:78869,1081:81938,1096:82202,1101:82796,1114:83060,1119:83720,1130:84050,1136:84908,1152:85304,1159:86162,1178:86756,1188:87350,1199:87614,1204:88274,1215:88604,1221:89462,1237:90386,1261:91310,1285:91772,1293:92630,1310:96187,1322:97190,1347:97426,1352:97662,1357:99609,1407:100258,1425:100494,1430:100907,1438:106304,1463:106624,1469:106880,1474:107328,1486:108096,1508:108416,1514:110592,1563:111168,1581:111616,1591:112192,1609:112704,1619:113536,1635:117369,1656:117653,1662:117937,1667:118931,1693:120209,1726:120635,1733:121203,1744:121842,1757:123120,1791:124682,1821:125321,1833:125818,1841:126599,1881:127025,1888:130473,1905:131040,1913:134490,1946:135525,1967:136146,1977:136698,1988:136974,1993:137250,1998:137940,2012:138561,2025:140700,2069:141045,2075:141735,2088:142218,2096:142977,2107:143736,2116:148820,2141:149164,2146:153808,2204:154152,2209:157195,2224:157798,2236:161515,2249:162185,2258:162788,2269:163123,2275:163458,2281:163994,2291:164262,2296:164731,2305:165133,2313:165401,2318:166004,2331:166607,2343:166942,2349:167612,2361:167880,2366:168483,2381:171866,2390:172526,2404:173054,2413:174506,2439:175100,2451:175430,2457:176486,2478:177146,2492:177806,2505:178136,2512:178928,2526:181106,2575:181370,2581:182096,2594:182954,2612:183416,2621:184142,2634:184604,2650:184868,2655:185198,2661:185462,2666:186056,2680:187046,2701:193220,2738:194000,2755:194312,2763:195040,2793:195300,2799:195768,2811:196392,2828:196912,2846:199152,2859:199823,2875:200555,2908:200799,2913:201226,2922:201653,2930:202202,2935:202446,2940:202690,2945:203117,2954:203544,2966:203971,2978:204581,2993:206289,3036:206899,3051:213416,3127:213836,3133:220150,3194:220758,3203:221138,3209:223146,3231:223594,3240:223850,3245:225066,3273:227690,3349:228138,3357:228458,3363:229994,3405:230762,3423:231978,3446:232298,3452:232554,3457:233130,3468:234218,3490:234666,3498:234922,3503:235370,3512:235882,3522:241260,3551:242466,3577:243002,3586:243672,3600:244074,3608:244945,3627:246218,3652:246888,3665:247223,3671:247491,3676:247893,3683:249970,3732:250372,3740:250774,3747:251578,3772:262730,3893$0,0:2920,40:4526,130:6643,158:12337,270:15670,280:16030,288:22270,421:25015,436:25610,445:26120,452:26715,460:27310,467:27905,475:29010,500:29435,506:29945,512:30285,517:33405,535:35280,558:35580,563:35880,568:38580,580:39330,592:40305,606:42156,622:43836,650:46950,670:49120,713:49540,720:51640,761:53740,805:54370,818:54930,829:55700,845:55980,850:58290,904:58570,909:66296,974:66640,979:67844,1003:68790,1012:72818,1051:73314,1060:74306,1083:74554,1088:75298,1105:75670,1112:76104,1121:76972,1156:79824,1239:80320,1250:80816,1261:81436,1275:81684,1281:82056,1289:83048,1313:83358,1319:83606,1324:88450,1353:88770,1358:90370,1384:91090,1396:91570,1404:93570,1437:93970,1444:94450,1452:98072,1478:98504,1486:100232,1506:101888,1535:102608,1549:109266,1650:112122,1743:112870,1758:113142,1763:113482,1769:114094,1783:115046,1801:115930,1818:116270,1824:118174,1872:118718,1912:119194,1921:119466,1926:121098,1962:121574,1970:123002,2002:128726,2026:130246,2051:131158,2070:131538,2076:133286,2108:133666,2114:147647,2178:148428,2192:148783,2198:149067,2203:151126,2324:151481,2330:151765,2335:158284,2411:158823,2419:159208,2425:159516,2430:163104,2459:164183,2478:166175,2561:167669,2583:168250,2591:170823,2636:171238,2642:171736,2649:172068,2654:178967,2732:179235,2737:180173,2754:180508,2760:182451,2805:182786,2811:183322,2821:183925,2844:184260,2851:185198,2873:189142,2922:189590,2933:189926,2940:192166,3003:192502,3011:192782,3017:193566,3038:193958,3046:194238,3053:195918,3109:196198,3115:196702,3125:196926,3141:197374,3146:197654,3152:197990,3159:198326,3167:199166,3188:199502,3196:199950,3207:200454,3217:200902,3234:201126,3239:207780,3285:209640,3332:210360,3349:210900,3360:212520,3405:213480,3427:214020,3437:214560,3448:215460,3473:216180,3491:218520,3558:219000,3569:219240,3574:223749,3596:223985,3601:224752,3618:224988,3629:225755,3647:226994,3683:229354,3741:229649,3747:230298,3763:230534,3769:230770,3774:231183,3785:233838,3846:234605,3858:237142,3930:237732,3943:238086,3952:238381,3958:238912,3970:239207,3976:240859,4017:241567,4039:246950,4052
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Oliver Keith Baker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his mother's growing up in Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his paternal grandfather helping his community

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his paternal grandparents' store in Desha County, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his interaction with his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the peaceful integration of Tillar High School in Tillar, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his siblings and their childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience in school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his childhood personality and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the moon landing in 1969

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience at B.C. Pruitt High School in Tillar, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about attending the Worldwide Church of God

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the political scene during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his family's move from Tillar, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker describes what it was like to live in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience attending high school in Memphis

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his early interest in physics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his college preparation at Messick High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience at summer student programs at Louisiana Tech University and MIT

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his academic performance at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his mentors, Jim West and William Donnelly

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to pursue doctoral studies in physics at Stanford University

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Oliver Keith Baker reflects upon his experience as a graduate student at Stanford University

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his relationship with his Ph.D. thesis advisor, Walter Meyerhof, at Stanford University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the lessons that he learned from his doctoral advisor, Walter Meyerhof

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes how he was funded as a graduate student at Stanford University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his living arrangements at Stanford University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his doctoral research on the nuclear resonance effect in atomic electron capture

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience as a doctoral student at Stanford University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to pursue his post-doctoral research at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker describes how he met and married his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his post-doctoral research on muon-catalyzed fusion at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to work at Hampton University and Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience at Hampton University and Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the Ph.D. program in physics at Hampton University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his work at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory, on the kaon/K meson particle

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience working at Hampton University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes how he became involved with the ATLAS particle detector experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the perceived risks of the Large Hadron Collider

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the National Science Foundation's (NSF) funding of the Physics Frontier Center

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the Higgs boson, and his involvement in the discovery of evidence that suggests the existence of the Higgs boson particle

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the Higgs boson, the 'God Particle', and its implications in validating the standard model of particle physics

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the collaboration of scientists, students and technicians in the discovery of the Higgs boson

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the future of particle physics, in the light of the discovery of the Higgs boson-like particle

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about physicist, Edward A. Bouchet, and his pride in receiving the Edward Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to accept a professorship in the physics department at Yale University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience as a professor in the physics department at Yale University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about mentoring African American students in physics

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his role as director of Yale University's A. W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker reflects upon his career and his research at Yale University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker reflects upon his family life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker shares the lessons he has learned from his mentors and colleagues

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker provides advice for African American students in the physical sciences

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

8$8

DATitle
Oliver Keith Baker describes his paternal grandparents' store in Desha County, Arkansas
Oliver Keith Baker talks about his mentors, Jim West and William Donnelly
Transcript
So, and my paternal grandfather, his father apparently was a minister, a Baptist preacher because I don't know that much about him. My granddad would tell me that they used to call him "Preacher". He was a Baptist minister. And he told me that he died in some kind of an accident. I remember him telling me that, that he died in some kind of a carriage accident of some sort. And on my paternal grandmother's side, so the, the--my dad's [Oliver Walter Baker] mother, I didn't get to know too well. She moved up to Michigan, to Michigan, and I went to visit her a few times. She would come to visit after, after she and my granddad got divorced. So I got to know her. I got to know my aunts relatively well. But it was more my step-grandmother that I got to know really well. Every since I was a little boy, she was like a mother to me. So she was working on, with my granddad and, on the farm. And then, so my, so my step-grandmother, Hazel Baker, she became a store owner. And my granddad and her built a store together, right there on Highway 65 in Desha County in Arkansas. And this became "the" most successful black business in the entire state. She won an award for having the most successful black business in the entire state. This was after I had gone off to college that she won the award. But even as a boy, I saw the hard work that she and my granddad put into it. He, on the farm, and her, in this general store. And I saw, I saw their hard work, their dedication, you know, every single day she was there, tired, sick, it didn't matter. The same with him, every single day, there was something to be done. And, and, you know, they enjoyed it. That was the thing. It wasn't a chore. They didn't complain. They enjoyed doing what they did, so.$$Now, is this like what you see in the movies as a general store, where--$$Correct.$$--you can get pretty much--$$It was a general store, that's right. So it sold everything that that community needed and more than that. So, so this was the front part--so the store had two parts. The front part was the general store, and this was groceries. It also had, this part of the store had, yeah, meat and, and whatever else, food items. In the back of the store was an area for farmers to bring their crops and sort them and then to sell them, to put them in the right packages to sell them. So, for example, cucumbers. I remember there was a sorter in the back of the store where you could--the farmers would bring in big loads, truckloads of cucumbers. And this sorter would sort them into size, according to size, put them in baskets, according to size. And then they could take them wherever they needed to go to sell them. So for a nominal fee, my grandparents did that as well for farmers. There were other things, not just cucumbers. That was just one example. So this was in the back of the store, and there was also feed for animals that were sold from the back of the store. So, this was a big enterprise by the standards of their day. This was a big business.$$Okay, okay. What was the name of the store? Did they have a--$$Jolly Baker's Grocery, J-O-L-L-Y, Jolly Baker's Grocery.$$Okay.$$I remember Jolly because my granddad's name was John Baker and people called him Johnny, and they called it "Jolly". So that was one question. Why did you name it Jolly Baker 's instead of Johnny Baker and then second, you know, this was a business, a store that lasted for decades. And you can imagine that over the course of decades, there would be some mishaps, disasters. So I remember when I was in school, once, it was a bad winter. And there was a snow and ice storm that caused part of the roof to cave in. And I remember the kids at school asking me, well, I guess your grandparents aren't so "jolly" now, right? So, it was a joke, yeah, but, anyway, yeah, Jolly Baker's Grocery.$$Okay.$Now, were there particular teachers and mentors at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] that you remember or fellow students that--$$Oh, yes.$$--really helped you in particular?$$Oh definitely, so, yes. So, obviously, Jim Gates and Mel Brown who were in physics, they had a tremendous impact. To this day, I remain in contact with Jim Gates. He's a professor down at the University of Maryland. And then, so here's another story, another gentleman there. It's a white male, Bill Donnelly. So all students at MIT at the time were expected to complete an undergraduate thesis on a, as part of the requirements to graduate. So, as a senior, I guess it was, I was going around asking different professors if I could work for them to do a thesis. And I remember all of them, all of them had a reason why, and some were legitimate. You know, I'm just, I just have too many students now, and I can't take on another student. So, it was a real surprise when I went to this one professor. He was a, I guess he was a research professor at the time, Bill Donnelly. And I walked into his office, and I asked him if I could work for him and to do a dissertation. And he says, "Sure, come on in." And that took me by surprise. There was no, well, tell me about yourself, tell me about your background. I, I was not as well prepared as I should have been at the time to work for him, but he was just so smart, just so bright that I was able to pick up enough from him and through his mentoring, I was able to get a dissertation, right--$$This is for the, I mean not a dissertation--this would be like a--$$It was an undergraduate thesis, right--(simultaneous)--$$Yeah, thesis, yeah, right.$$Yep, yep, William Donnelly. And he's still there, and I, when I see him on occasion now, we still talk, and it was just a fun time. It was a fun project for (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$What was your project? What was your--$$Neutrino nuclear scattering. So I looked at the scattering of neutrino, these neutroleptons from nuclei, carbon and other nuclei, and to try to calculate cross sections.$$Okay, and, okay, so. Now, anything else significant happen on the first four years [at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts]? I mean are you--when you finished the first four years, did you consider yourself caught up? You're up to speed with--$$So, another thing that happened, I remember, when I just got to MIT in this Project Interphase [summer program before Baker's freshman year at MIT], I do remember the mid-term exam in physics Jim Gates gave us. Jim used to give these really hard exams, okay. He was just, he was just, I don't know sadistic like that. But they were "pass-fail" which helped, right? So Jim, obviously, is just a great friend of mine now. He's just a great, great guy, he and his family, I know. But at the end of it all, I was only a few points above the pass-fail mark. And I was thinking to myself, okay, maybe I don't have this talent for physics that I need. And I don't know, maybe I need to start thinking about something else. That was that brief moment when I, this occurred to me, maybe I need to do something else. It didn't last long. Anyway, Jim called each of us into his office, all the students, one-by-one, into his office for a few minutes of discussion. And when he called me in, I was expecting to hear the statement about, you know, how I needed to do better. So I was really surprised when he said, you know, Keith, I've been teaching this for a long time. And you solved this problem in a way that I had never seen solved before. In the end, I was off by a factor of two. I forgot to multiple it by two to get the final answer. But he said, this shows real creativity, and, you know, I'm impressed. And I want you to continue in physics, if that's what you wanna do. He found out I wanted to go into physics, and that has stuck with me all these years. And I remind Jim of that all the time now. He sort of dismisses it.

Calvin Lowe

Education administrator and physicist Calvin Lowe was born in Roanoke Rapids, Michigan in 1955. After graduating from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with his B.S. degree in physics, Lowe enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned his M.S. degree in plasma physics in 1979. Upon completing his doctoral thesis, “Optical Properties of Graphite Intercalation Compounds,” Lowe graduated from MIT with his Ph.D. degree in solid state physics in 1983.

Upon graduation, Lowe began teaching as an associate professor of physics at the University of Kentucky. In 1987, Lowe was appointed as an associate professor of physics at Hampton University and was named chair of the department of physics. He left Hampton University in 1992 and moved to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical State University in Huntsville, Alabama where he served as chair of the department of physics from 1992 to 1995. In 1996, Lowe returned to Hampton University and he served as the vice president of research and dean of the graduate college. In that position, he was instrumental in building an internationally recognized atmospheric-sciences research group. Lowe was named the ninth president of Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland and served from 2000 to 2006. While at Bowie, Lowe was as a member of the Task Force to Study College Readiness for Disadvantaged and Capable Students. Lowe has also served as the vice president of research and program development at the National Institute for Aerospace. In 2011, Lowe was appointed as the dean of the School of Science at Hampton University.

In addition to serving as faculty and administrator, Lowe served as a member of the board of Directors for the University System of Maryland from 2000 to 2006. He is a member of the American Physical Society, the National Society of Black Physicists and the Association of University Technology Managers. In 2011, Lowe received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Lowe lives in Maryland with his wife, Tanya, and their two adult children, Maya and Calvin. His brother, Dr. Walter Lowe, is a professor of physics at Howard University.

Calvin Lowe was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.072

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/26/2013

Last Name

Lowe

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Name

Calvin

Birth City, State, Country

Roakoke Rapids

HM ID

LOW06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

2/9/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Physicist and education administrator Calvin Lowe (1955 - ) was the former vice president of research and program development at the National Institute for Aerospace and the ninth president of Bowie State University.

Employment

University of Kentucky

Hampton University

Alabama A&M State University

Bowie State University

National Institute of Aerospace

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:500,3:1418,13:1826,18:9449,143:11439,154:17530,222:17830,228:23220,263:23820,273:24795,290:30050,325:33582,388:37385,434:38457,454:42544,561:51572,664:51840,673:53113,696:53917,713:56999,770:57267,775:57870,793:59478,849:59746,854:66642,913:74344,1012:74720,1017:75660,1035:80001,1075:80610,1083:81567,1097:82089,1106:90860,1223:92940,1264:96504,1283:96760,1288:97528,1301:100410,1324:103285,1340:106450,1367:106770,1372:107090,1377:116025,1475:117156,1491:120770,1513:121220,1520:122870,1547:123470,1559:125190,1565:125466,1570:126018,1599:129537,1675:132824,1710:134400,1727:134708,1733:136479,1775:136864,1784:139138,1797:139654,1803:140170,1808:142363,1829:143008,1836:148647,1864:157676,1922:158138,1929:162835,2030:163220,2036:164529,2057:165068,2065:166762,2104:170425,2120:171805,2146:172150,2152:174496,2191:174772,2196:175255,2204:175600,2216:177877,2256:178222,2262:184510,2340:185291,2387:194778,2557:195082,2562:199704,2574:200374,2585:205732,2623:207476,2650:217490,2700:219086,2729:220514,2746:221018,2753:231576,2855:233718,2890:239076,2952:242562,2998:243018,3005:246818,3051:247426,3062:247806,3068:248414,3078:249630,3099:249934,3104:251910,3141:253126,3171:265746,3261:266604,3273:267132,3283:267396,3288:268986,3311:269556,3323:269784,3328:275644,3347:276238,3358:280814,3412:283160,3422:292305,3470:293327,3491:293619,3496:294568,3516:295371,3530:296612,3549:297561,3572:297853,3577:298291,3588:303188,3612:312724,3855:316262,3908:318066,3952:319460,3976:320608,3989:320936,3994:321428,4004:322740,4024:323396,4062:325610,4091:328820,4107:330020,4134:330260,4139:330800,4149:332360,4194:332720,4201:333320,4213:334100,4232:336770,4241:337122,4246:337474,4251:339367,4280:339766,4289:339994,4294:340279,4308:347604,4383:347940,4390:348220,4401:348724,4411:350690,4428:350990,4435:353056,4450:353420,4455:355513,4493:358109,4515:358865,4531:359117,4536:359495,4543:360503,4568:361007,4583:368740,4646$0,0:6090,158:27785,406:30000,418:31856,438:32784,447:36040,477:50799,633:57152,700:57845,711:58153,716:59000,729:71368,793:75040,908:76120,927:77056,938:77488,945:78568,975:79720,1008:83331,1033:85842,1076:91608,1184:100465,1271:101145,1280:107310,1316:109551,1358:109966,1364:110879,1378:114697,1459:121886,1564:122342,1571:142642,1892:148150,1988:148636,1996:157006,2141:157501,2154:163243,2230:181135,2379:181499,2384:192296,2533:194704,2589:196682,2625:200325,2652:200625,2657:201975,2674:203400,2693:211317,2797:227258,3047:231799,3087:241904,3216:248898,3293:257716,3411:258304,3419:260152,3448:261496,3470:266420,3496:272756,3569:274516,3592:275660,3610:276364,3619:287454,3726:290421,3783:291387,3801:294285,3888:297045,3960:297666,3970:305510,4060:306290,4073:306602,4083:306992,4089:317320,4178:320140,4229:326054,4262:329154,4324:329550,4336:345220,4436:345788,4441:352920,4559
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Calvin Lowe's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Calvin Lowe lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Calvin Lowe describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Calvin Lowe describes his mother's growing up in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Calvin Lowe describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Calvin Lowe describes his father's interest in tinkering with gadgets and building tools

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Calvin Lowe talks about his father's career as a construction worker

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Calvin Lowe talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Calvin Lowe talks about his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Calvin Lowe talks about growing up in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Calvin Lowe describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Calvin Lowe talks about his family's pets

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Calvin Lowe describes the sights, smells and sounds of growing up in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Calvin Lowe talks about his first school in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Calvin Lowe talks about his sister attending college at North Carolina College, and the desegregation of schools in North Carolina in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Calvin Lowe describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Calvin Lowe talks about his exposure to science, television, books and magazines as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Calvin Lowe describes his experience as one of the first African American students to integrate William R. Davie School in Roanoke Rapids

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Calvin Lowe describes his experience at the integrated Northwest High School in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Calvin Lowe talks about his relationship with his twin brother, Walter Lowe

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Calvin Lowe describes his experience in high school and graduating early

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Calvin Lowe talks about graduating early from high school, and the political events of the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Calvin Lowe describes his experience as an undergraduate student at North Carolina A and T State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Calvin Lowe talks about his interest in physics at North Carolina A and T State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Calvin Lowe describes his decision to pursue his Ph.D. degree in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his experience there

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Calvin Lowe talks about losing interest in physics research while he was at MIT, and his interest in teaching

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Calvin Lowe talks about his brother attending Stanford University, and his mentor, Mildred S. Dresselhaus, at MIT

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Calvin Lowe describes the challenges that he faced as a graduate student at MIT, and his interest in teaching and mentoring

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Calvin Lowe talks about his master's thesis research at MIT

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Calvin Lowe describes his doctoral research at MIT on the optical properties of graphite intercalation compounds

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Calvin Lowe describes the findings of his doctoral dissertation work on graphite intercalation compounds

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Calvin Lowe describes his experience at the University of Kentucky

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Calvin Lowe talks about the University of Kentucky and race relations in Kentucky in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Calvin Lowe talks about meeting his wife and getting married in 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Calvin Lowe talks about his decision to leave the University of Kentucky and join Hampton University's physics faculty - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Calvin Lowe talks about his decision to leave the University of Kentucky and join Hampton University's physics faculty - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Calvin Lowe describes his involvement in establishing Hampton University's Research Center for Optical Physics and a doctoral program in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Calvin Lowe talks about leaving Hampton University in 1992 to become the head of the physics department at Alabama A and M University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Calvin Lowe talks about his experience as the head of the physics department at Alabama A and M University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Calvin Lowe describes his role as the dean of the graduate school and vice president of research at Hampton University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Calvin Lowe talks about becoming the president of Bowie State University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Calvin Lowe describes his involvement in establishing new buildings at Bowie State University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Calvin Lowe talks about his involvement in establishing a High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster at Bowie State University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Calvin Lowe talks about his involvement in strengthening the athletic programs at Bowie State University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Calvin Lowe talks about his decision to step down from his role as the president of Bowie State University

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Calvin Lowe describes his decision to become the vice president of research and program development at the National Institute of Aerospace

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Calvin Lowe describes his contributions as the vice president of research at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA)

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Calvin Lowe talks about his son's death in 2010

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Calvin Lowe describes the goals for the future of the School of Science at Hampton University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Calvin Lowe talks about the marine science program at Hampton University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Calvin Lowe talks about the computer science program and nanoscience concentration at Hampton University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Calvin Lowe talks about expanding the Ph.D. programs at Hampton University to facilitate its growth as a research institution

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Calvin Lowe reflects upon his future in academic administration and talks about the balance between research and teaching at universities

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Calvin Lowe reflects upon providing outreach programs and support towards secondary schools

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Calvin Lowe describes his research interest in boron nitride nanotubes

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Calvin Lowe reflects upon his legacy

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

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Calvin Lowe reflects upon the future of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Calvin Lowe talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Calvin Lowe talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Calvin Lowe describes his experience in high school and graduating early
Calvin Lowe describes his role as the dean of the graduate school and vice president of research at Hampton University
Transcript
So Northwest High School [Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina] now, now what did you, what, what kind of science did you take at Northwest?$$I took chemistry, biology. I think I took physical science. I think it was the, the first course that they taught. I took a course in physics. It was sort of a, a, you know, pretty low level kind of, I mean they really didn't have somebody that do physics, to teach it. So I think the biology teacher also taught physics and she did a good job kind of introducing the subject, but you really couldn't see, see the inner workings of the subject. You know, you just kind of got the tour.$$Okay. Now what about math and how high did they let--did you take calculus in high school?$$(Laughs) No. (Laughs) I didn't take calculus in high school, it wasn't offered. I actually didn't take trig [trigonometry] in high school either, that wasn't offered. I got through the two courses in algebra, courses in geometry. That, that was as far as I, you got to go in math in, in high school when I was there.$$Okay, okay. Now were there any special teachers, you know, or mentors at, at Northwest?$$Nah. I think, you know, my science teacher, Mrs. Clark, you know, was a uh, an excellent teacher. She taught, taught the biology course and, and as much chemistry or physics as was, as was available. You know, she was a, I think a very good teacher, very um--I guess looking back, I mean I think she was, she was inquisitive. She had the scientific, you know, interest in, in things that that got conveyed the students to even, even though we didn't always, you know, didn't get to see the, the real depth of, especially the chemistry or physics subject; but we got to see that in biology; more, more depth. That was her field, her, her major in college. So that, that teacher I remember. Also I remember, actually her, her husband taught um--what do they call it? Um, I guess its social studies or civics--no, not civics. I forgot what they called it, but anyway it was sort of, sort of world civilization kind of history course. You know, you kind of learned about different civilizations and--$$Like world history.$$Yeah, world history. He was very good at that, and I remember as we were preparing for final exams once he, he challenged the class to, to ask him a question from the, from the book that he didn't know. And so he gave, you know, we could, could open our book and you could go through it and ask whatever question and he knew it all. (Laughs) So I, I remember that af--that afternoon. It was very interesting experience there. Also I had a, I guess, in, in ninth grade I guess, had a really good English, English teacher. She taught sort of English literature I guess and so she talked about the, you know, the into Shakespeare and, you know, some plays. She was well versed in all that stuff and, and as we were learning some, I guess it was maybe English literature--it was not the right name of the subject; but, you know, she talked about some of the ancient Greek plays and she would, she would perform a little bit of it and talk about how, how they would perform on stage, and that was a really, really interesting, interesting subject.$$Okay.$$Good teacher.$$Okay. Okay, so, were you involved in sports in high school at all?$$Played football in high school. I guess I played two years.$$And what did you play? What, what position?$$Offensive guard.$$Okay. Okay, so you, you played for two years?$$Yeah, it was some college AV team one year and then played varsity one year. Actually I left high school one year early, so after my junior year I left and went to [North Carolina] A & T [Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina].$$And went to where?$$Went to A & T.$$A & T, okay.$$To college.$$Alright.$$Yeah.$$Okay. So how, how did that take place?$$Well, there, there were, we were required to have, you know, a certain number of credits courses or credit hours something in high school to graduate and if you took sort of a full load, you know, a full load (laughs), six, six classes, by the time you got to the end of your sophomore year, you were sort of like promoted to be a senior because you could in principle graduate from high school. The only thing that kept you from doing that is that you were required to take four years of English and so if you; if the summer after your sophomore year you went to summer school and you took English, which--basically junior year English, then in what would have been your junior year, you could actually graduate from, from high school. And so that's what I did. Yeah, so--$$Okay.$And then you came back to Hampton [University, Hampton, Virginia].$$Came back to Hampton.$$So what, what happened? What, what was the cause?$$I went into my office one day and, and my secretary said, "Oh, you got, you had a phone call from President [William] Harvey." I said, "Okay." (Laughs) So I called him and, and he told me that he wanted me to consider a position coming back to Hampton as, had a position as dean of the, of the graduate school and vice president for research. So I said well that sounds interesting (laughs), so, so I came to visit and interviewed with him and, and accepted the offer and we moved, moved back.$$Okay, alright. So, so you're like now Dean of the Graduate School and Vice President of Research--$$Um hm.$$--right? Okay. So what, what were some of your activities here at Hampton?$$Well you now as, as VP [vice president] for research, again I was in the role of trying to help the University secure funding. So I spent a lot of time traveling back and forth to Washington. To graduate school you know being dean of the graduate school is, is a nice job because you don't, you dont have any faculty working for you. (Laughs) The faculty work for the other deans really. So, so I spent a, mainly my time was on building the research program. You know Hampton was, was really in the, in the beginning stages of rapid growth in the science area during that time. Dr. Harvey wanted to really build up the science programs. One of the things that he asked me to do was to really look at whether or not we could make a thrust into atmospheric sciences and again, we were looking at that because of NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] Langley [Research Center]. We had a proximity to NASA Langley. It was something that, that they have a very big presence in and so, you know, we started to explore that and, and (laughs) it was interesting we were, we were able to attract two of their like really world-class scientists to come to Hampton. They, they left, they were actually retired from, from the government, and they became faculty members here at Hampton; they are still here. They, they came to Hampton and they built a really fantastic atmospheric sciences program here at Hampton.$$Who, who are they?$$Jim Russell and Pat McCormick, and Patrick McCormick. So you know they, they were, they were, I guess they were both branch heads at, at NASA. So they were you know up in the leadership of, of the branches that did atmospheric sciences and, and satellite projects and so they have lots of you know really great connections into the field and into people and, and they were, they were exactly the right two folks to capture to come to Hampton. So we created a little, a few bad feelings at Langley (laughs) when we did that. I know we, we beat out a couple of, couple of places like Virginia Tech [Blacksburg, Virginia] and the College of William and Mary [Williamsburg, Virginia] to, to capture these guys and bring them here to Hampton. And you know they are just, just a bang up job in terms of bringing resources and building an atmospheric science program that's, that's you know that's world-class, well-known. You know when you start asking about places that, that places that will do atmospheric science research, Hampton is one of those places that you actually talk about now.$$Okay. Did, did taking on the atmospheric science program require like uh much facility build out or construction?$$Not, not a whole lot, because we were, we were really looking at trying to put into place the, the sort of connection into a research community and, and if you look at atmospheric sciences I mean there are, there are you know you get these, these satellite programs to go up. These satellites are designed to study various parts of the atmosphere and then there is a science team just built around the satellite. The satellites are basically built by, you know, one of the aerospace companies, launched by NASA, run by NASA you know and, and the, the scientists are really users so the data that comes back down the, down the pipe so to speak. So McCormick and Russell gave us a, an entree into that, to that kind of science and the uh, the infrastructure for, for you know getting data. I mean all that stuff is sort of part of NASA, part of the mission of NASA.$$Okay, alright. So, okay, so you were back here at Hampton until 2000. So that's five years--$$Um hm.$$--right?$$Right. Remember I told you about it, (laughs) about every five, six, seven years. (Laughs)

Arlene Maclin

Physicist and education administrator Arlene P. Maclin was born in Brunswick County, Virginia on June 7, 1945 to parents Otis Armstead and Alice Matthews Maclin. Maclin attended Hickory Run Elementary School and Rawlings Elementary School, and graduated from James Solomon High School in 1963. Upon graduation, Maclin enrolled at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, where she graduated with her B.S. degree in engineering physics in 1967. Maclin went on to earn her M.S. degree in theoretical nuclear physics from the University of Virginia in 1971, and her Ph.D. degree in theoretical solid state physics from Howard University in 1974.

Throughout her career, Maclin has served as a researcher and educational administrator for several major institutions. She served as a research physicist at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and as a visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 1980, Maclin was appointed program director for the National Science Foundation, and from 1981 to 1983, she was the Senior Applied Research Physicist at the Central Intelligence Agency. Her academic service includes more than fifteen years of teaching at the levels of associate and full professors, and with administrative experience at the level of associate dean and director or of research. From 2002 to 2009, Maclin served as professor of optical engineering and director of the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence at Norfolk State University, where she received research grants totaling $10 million and developed graduate programs in optical engineering and electronics engineering. In 2011, Maclin was appointed as the executive director of the MAC-CAE Program and adjunct professor of physics at Morgan State University.

Maclin is a member of American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Materials Research Society. She served as the primary program staff for the Materials Science and Engineering Report and the International Survey of Atomic and Molecular Science, which were published by the National Research Council. For her many contributions and accomplishments, Maclin was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Among Black American, International Who’s Who of Women, and Who’s Who in America.

Arlene Maclin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers in January 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/14/2013 |and| 1/19/2013

Last Name

Maclin

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Paige

Schools

University of Virginia

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

James Solomon Russell Middle School

Rawlings Elementary School

Hickory Run Elementary School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days, evenings, and weekends

First Name

Arlene

Birth City, State, Country

Rawlings

HM ID

MAC03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youths, teens, college students, graduate students

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Expenses plus $500 minimum in most cases

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Take care of yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/7/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Physicist and academic administrator Arlene Maclin (1945 - ) has served as professor and research administrator at Norfolk State University, Howard University, and Morgan State University.

Employment

Morgan State University

Norfolk State University

Howard University

Mnemonic Systems

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center

Hampton University

National Research Council (NRC)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Central Intelligence Agency

National Science Foundation (NSF)

United States Congressional Office of Technology Assessment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:4030,22:4520,30:5570,36:5850,41:14740,199:15440,219:15720,224:19700,232:20444,241:27232,357:29639,397:29971,407:30469,415:31299,434:36279,570:36694,576:41834,627:44312,671:44961,686:47321,730:47675,738:48560,763:50153,809:50389,814:52336,870:57252,906:61677,1016:62149,1026:63742,1055:64450,1069:64863,1080:65335,1091:66043,1105:67636,1144:72524,1160:75210,1209:76553,1231:76869,1236:77343,1243:77738,1249:78054,1254:78528,1262:79713,1278:80187,1285:80977,1299:85395,1332:85720,1338:87150,1373:89313,1387:89880,1395:92310,1428:93363,1442:95500,1454:95908,1495:103524,1648:112720,1730:113853,1788:114574,1797:118100,1808:118600,1814:130270,2026:131080,2043:131440,2048:135210,2118:135560,2126:135980,2134:136470,2143:139230,2181$0,0:704,9:1232,15:4576,58:6864,98:8712,135:9592,148:12993,159:17750,260:23361,326:23929,335:26029,350:26596,363:28801,416:29242,422:33085,515:33715,528:33967,533:34219,540:37999,649:38314,655:38755,663:43731,695:48186,745:51057,769:51552,775:52344,789:59310,870:61945,905:64958,944:65414,951:65946,960:66402,967:67390,989:74555,1069:78846,1112:79216,1118:81117,1132:81562,1138:82452,1153:84054,1182:88985,1242:99935,1434:100310,1440:106552,1470:107196,1479:109496,1515:113370,1521:116008,1557:116768,1573:120112,1638:122620,1697:123304,1709:124672,1735:125052,1741:128860,1749:129244,1755:130268,1781:131160,1790:133157,1800:133513,1805:133958,1811:134848,1823:135649,1832:136094,1838:140989,1934:141968,1949:147696,2002:149717,2010:153035,2056:153351,2061:162372,2171:163263,2185:165855,2219:166422,2228:170270,2246:170788,2254:172194,2286:172860,2303:173230,2309:175894,2322:179262,2338:179730,2345:180120,2351:182362,2364:183580,2380:185059,2400:185929,2411:186277,2416:190630,2468:191080,2476:191605,2485:193705,2522:194455,2538:194905,2545:205428,2623:205948,2629:207404,2644:211070,2660:212078,2680:212654,2689:213374,2701:213878,2709:217344,2750:218246,2764:218820,2773:220870,2802:221198,2807:221772,2815:228332,2863:230306,2888:234210,2929:237430,2997:247248,3127:248522,3142:249341,3152:249705,3157:251343,3191:256210,3217:256546,3225:256834,3232:257074,3238:259464,3257:260120,3266:260448,3271:268130,3328:268730,3339:269030,3345:269570,3356:270170,3369:279013,3427:279408,3433:281462,3465:283437,3492:283753,3497:284306,3505:287302,3543:287574,3548:287846,3554:292266,3627:292742,3636:295668,3664:296008,3670:297096,3684:297504,3691:300054,3700:300516,3707:303904,3748:304674,3753:306137,3773:306830,3784:307292,3791:307677,3797:315432,3893:316142,3905:318982,3952:319266,3958:319550,3963:320686,3976:321680,3995:322248,4005:329180,4084:330300,4104:330700,4112:334540,4205:342888,4329:344162,4342:347886,4388:350160,4396:351680,4413:355280,4473:364936,4597:366648,4617:368700,4622:369393,4633:370779,4660:373166,4697:373551,4703:374090,4711:382702,4788:384200,4795:390097,4821:390629,4826:391560,4835:392757,4843:396640,4902:397264,4911:397966,4921:403589,5011:404728,5032:408722,5070:412680,5158:414570,5169:415200,5180:417440,5212:418140,5219:418420,5226:419540,5238:420170,5249:423110,5312:423670,5322:423950,5327:425210,5384:446930,5704:457150,5766:457410,5772:457670,5777:458385,5789:462416,5809:463648,5822:464000,5827:464880,5834:465760,5846:467168,5869:469544,5909:471568,5942:472360,5952:477656,5967:478322,5977:479358,5997:479802,6004:485944,6049:486128,6054:486404,6062:489005,6088:489383,6095:491525,6156:491840,6162:492407,6174:492848,6183:493163,6189:493793,6206:494234,6215:494990,6230:498170,6252:501325,6314:501920,6322:502430,6329:504314,6341:504758,6348:507496,6390:509510,6395:511238,6430:514975,6491:516399,6509:516844,6521:517645,6533:519959,6574:525861,6659:526428,6668:531510,6717
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Arlene Maclin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin talks about Brunswick Stew

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Arlene Maclin talks about her mother's interest in plants

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Arlene Maclin describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Arlene Maclin talks about her father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Arlene Maclin describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin talks about her childhood and being born with clubbed feet

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin describes her childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Arlene Maclin talks about being teased as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Arlene Maclin describes playing games with her nieces and nephews

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Arlene Maclin describes her early education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Arlene Maclin talks about her seventh grade teacher, Maude Mays

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin talks about her interest in books, radio and television growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin talks about James Solomon Russell High School and the plight of African Americans during the 50s and 60s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin talks about her family's food growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin describes her family's involvement in church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Arlene Maclin describes her experience at James Solomon Russell High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Arlene Maclin talks about her math and science education at James Solomon Russell High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Arlene Maclin describes the racial climate of Brunswick County, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Arlene Maclin describes her extracurricular activities at James Solomon Russel High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin describes her interest in Bennett College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin talks about Alexander "Buddy" Gardner (part 1)

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin talks about North Carolina A&T University and the physics college bowl

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin talks about Alexander "Buddy" Gardner (part 2)

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Arlene Maclin describes her experience at the University of Munich

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Arlene Maclin describes her experience in Munich, Germany

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin talks about her senior year and graduation from college

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin talks about her Ford Foundation Post-baccalaureate Fellowship

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin talks about reactions to Dr. King's assassination

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin describes her experience at the University of Virginia (part 1)

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Arlene Maclin describes her experience at the University of Virginia (part 2)

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Arlene Maclin describes her teaching experience at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Arlene Maclin describes her doctoral research on liquid metals

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Arlene Maclin talks about her Lincoln Labs colleague, Alex Animalu

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin describes her work as Associate Dean at Morgan State University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin describes her work with the National Science Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin describes her work with the Central Intelligence Agency

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin describes her experience in Japan

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Arlene Maclin describes how she inspired Horst Stormer to resume research on high speed devices

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin talks about Bell Laboratories

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin compares U.S. funding of science to that of other countries

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin describes her work at Oak Ridge National Laboratories

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin describes her work at the National Research Council

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Arlene Maclin describes her experience as a Howard University professor

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Arlene Maclin talks about her decision to move to Hampton University

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Arlene Maclin talks about other scientists from Virginia

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Arlene Maclin's interview (part 2)

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin talks about her work at the NASA Langley Research Center

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin talks about her work on optics at Hampton University

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin talks about her work at Mnemonic Systems

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin talks about her return to Howard University as a technical consultant

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Arlene Maclin talks about Y-2K

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Arlene Maclin describes her work at Norfolk State University

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Arlene Maclin talks about the lack of female minority physics professors

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Arlene Maclin describes her efforts to encourage minority students to pursue careers in science

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin talks about her professional collaborations with Camilla Opodu

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin talks about her experience in Nigeria

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Arlene Maclin talks about the Mid-Atlantic Consortium Center for Academic Excellence

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Arlene Maclin talks about her mentorship of African American students and reflects on her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Arlene Maclin reflects on her career

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Arlene Maclin shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Arlene Maclin talks about her future plans

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Arlene Maclin talks about the importance of faculty research

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Arlene Maclin talks about her husband

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Arlene Maclin tells how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Arlene Maclin describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Arlene Maclin talks about her seventh grade teacher, Maude Mays
Arlene Maclin talks about Alexander "Buddy" Gardner (part 1)
Transcript
All right, so we were talking about your teacher.$$Maude Mays.$$Yeah, Maude Mays.$$Yeah, well, she challenged me. I was, I really--that was a very, very productive year for me. And all the reports that my parents had been getting about my being disruptive in third, fourth and--well, it would be the fourth, fifth and sixth grades, disappeared 'cause you never heard any more. I never, she was just, she kept me busy. She gave me things to do. She was interesting. And she was challenging. So I was challenged.$$Now, did she teach science at all?$$No, she didn't teach science. It was, again, it was just an elementary school. But she taught, well, they had the normal science that you would have, but the math. She was good at math, but we had all the subjects, the science. I don't even remember what science we might have had in the seventh grade. But it wasn't, she wasn't--she was just an elementary school teacher. She was not a specialist in any area. But I do know that she gave me challenging things to read and to, the math, I was challenged by that. She knew I was interested in mathematics. And so she gave me extra work. So I was challenged, and I kept very busy. I was just so fascinated that here, this person would take time to introduce me to things that I had no idea about before. So she was a great teacher.$$Okay.$$And, in fact, her daughter is a teacher here in the Vineyard, just got a award several years ago.$$Here in Washington [D.C.]?$$She's in the Washington area. She teaches in some school in Virginia.$$Okay.$$But I saw the award in the newspaper. But she was a, she was just a naturally, just a great teacher, one of my memorable ones and mentor.$$Okay, this is seventh grade, right?$$Seventh grade, seventh grade, changed my life. I think it changed my whole path. I probably, had I not had her, would not have been--'cause I was, you know, I didn't have anybody to guide me academically, necessarily, 'cause my parents couldn't do that. And she did that. She was the first to give me that direction in terms of academics. These are the things you need to be doing. This is what you should be reading, that kind of thing.$Okay, so North Carolina A and T, now, so did you major in physics at--$$Absolutely. I majored in physics. I was a physics major, and that was the first, the first physicist that I had ever met, I met, and he became my long, life-long mentor, and who was Dr. Alexander Gardner, Alexander "Buddy" Gardner was my--I met him my freshman year.$$Because later on, he would be at Howard [University] too, right?$$Yes, he moved from A and T to Howard, yes.$$So his nickname was Buddy?$$Buddy, yeah. That was his middle, that was his real name. That was his middle name.$$Was it? Okay, all right, his real name.$$His name, Alexander Buddy Gardner. His close friends called him Buddy.$$Now, he is a celebrated figure--$$Absolutely. He, Dr. Gardner influenced. He was the first person, black person to get a PhD at North Carolina, University of North Carolina. He got his degree in 1964, even though it was awarded 1965. He had, he had finished pretty much his degree work when, and he was teaching at A and T, which is where he had graduated college. And I met him my freshman year. And he really influenced a whole generation of black students to do physics. We had the, we had fifty majors under Dr. Gardner at A and T. He also was Ron McNair's mentor. He was the Loews' brothers mentors. He was just, and his students went on--Elvira Shaw Williams. I don't know whether you are interviewing her or not. But he influenced a whole generation of young blacks to major in physics, and to do physics, and, in fact, when he finished--and he tells this story. When he finished North Carolina, University of North Carolina as a first black to get a PhD in physics there, and he told them that what he was going to do, he said, I'm going back to North Carolina A and T, and I'm going to influence more black students to join, to study physics. They looked at him like he was absolutely crazy. And they said, well, why aren't you going on to do research 'cause he had done, his PhD research was in metals, cadmium, and he'd done some other--and he's a very good experimentalist. He was a, just a magician almost in the laboratory. And his advisors told him that he should not do that, that he should go on into a world of research. But he decided that he really wanted to do, to teach. He was a great teacher. He taught, when he talked about physics, the physics sort of jumped off the page because he made physics come alive. He related it to our lives and what we could do with it. And he really was a master teacher, and he taught physics contextually. And here is a man who had, again, his, growing up, his early years, he left school. And he went and joined the Merchant Marines for several years, and then he got into--I never, he never told me what the problem was, but he got into some serious trouble and was in prison for a while. And he, from prison, he wrote to North Carolina A and T and asked them to please admit him to college, let him come, when he got out, when he finished, whatever his--I don't know what his crime was. He never told me. And, but North Carolina A and T admitted him, and he became the, he graduated from North Carolina A and T as the top student, summa cum laude, with an eighth grade education. And he actually came from New Burn, North Carolina originally. Again, but he influenced large numbers of people in my generation to study physics.$$And his name is--$$He was a great influence. He had, for, at one point in the '80s [1980s], more than 10 percent and there were only about, at that time, about 400 blacks with PhDs in physics, Dr. Gardener had been a mentor to forty or fifty of them. So he was a great influence for thirty years of people going on into physics. If you talked to many students my age and fifteen to twenty years younger, and you ask them when did you meet Dr. Gardener. You didn't ask where. You say, when because you know, you can tell his students. But he was a very, very instrumental mentor for a large number of students, a very large number. And he clearly was an influence on me, a large influence. And, in fact, I think I was one of his favorite students. And he was my mentor for life.$$Yeah, the African American physicists have erected a plaque to him--$$Oh, yes, absolutely.$$--on a couple of campuses, I think.$$Yeah, and he also was, in fact, after he died--he died in 2001. I went down to Alabama with his wife, his widow, and received another--they devoted a whole session to him, and his life's work and I gave a talk about him and his influence and all that. So, really, you know, it's amazing how you can have centers of influence. And I call 'em that because--and he clearly, in the black physics community, I would say Dr. Gardener clearly was a center of influence for 30 years, from 1965 till 1995. And that work was done at North Carolina A and T and at Howard [University]. He was actually recruited from A and T by President Cheek to Howard [Howard University] 'cause he wanted him to do what he had done for physics at A and T, at Howard. So he came to Howard.$$So did he establish the PhD program in physics at Howard?$$No, the PhD program at Howard was established in the '50s [1950s] before that. There was a chemistry, physics, math, were all--the PhD programs were all established about the same time. And so, no, he was, that was in the '50's [1950s] that their PhD program had actually been established at Howard.$$Okay.$$Yeah, earlier.$$All right, so this, so you came along in time to meet, to have this great mentor?$$Absolutely.$$And--$$And influence throughout my life. In fact, I'm not a very good godmother, but I'm the godmother to his two children, two of his children, who are now grown and, but, yes, he was a life--you know, it's interesting that in my life, my mentors have also become mentors and friends and lifelong. These are lifelong relationships that I established. And I think that's extremely important in a student's life, that here are people that you can go to for anything. And he was that kind of person. I mean you could pretty much, you could go to him and tell him--it didn't have to be about school. It could be about anything, and he would be willing to sit there and talk to you about that. And I think that's what good mentors do. And so mentors become friends and become collaborators and then I have this theory that mentoring is an art. It's not, it cannot be taught. It's really an art. And that's what many students miss. I tried to do that and as much as I can, and I think I've been, in some ways, a very effective mentor in that regard. But I've learned, I learned that from the people who mentored me. It's a learned behavior.