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M. Brian Blake

Computer scientist and academic administrator M. Brian Blake was born in Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from Benedictine Military Academy in 1989 and then enrolled in the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated with his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1994. In 1997, Blake earned his M.S. degree in electrical engineering with a minor in software engineering and a graduate certificate in object-oriented analysis and design from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia. He went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in information technology and computer science from George Mason University in 2000.

Upon graduation, Blake spent six years in industry working as a software architect, technical lead, and expert developer with companies such as General Electric (GE), Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and The MITRE Corporation. Blake joined the department of computer science at Georgetown University in 1999 as an adjunct professor. After being promoted to associate professor in 2005, he became the youngest African American tenured computer science professor. In 2007, Blake was selected to chair Georgetown University’s computer science department, making him the first African American appointed to the position. Blake was then brought on at Notre Dame University in 2009 where he served the Associate Dean of Engineering for Research and Graduate Studies, and as professor of computer science and engineering. Blake was also the first African American tenured professor in Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. In May of 2012, Blake was named Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Miami. His research interests include

Blake has published more than 150 refereed articles and publications in the area of software engineering and the integration of Web-based systems. He served as the Associate Editor-in-Chief of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Internet Computing, and Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Service Computing. In 2006, he was selected to serve on the National Science Foundation Advisory Board for Computer, Information Science, and Engineering. Blake is also a senior member of the IEEE Computer Society.

In 2007, was honored by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as “One of 10 Emerging Scholars.” He was the creator and founder of the Web Services Challenge, an initiative that evaluates software engineering techniques in the area of web service composition. As an undergraduate at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Blake was initiated in the ANAK Society and received the J. Erskine Love, Jr. Award. In 2003, US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine and Lockheed Martin recognized him as the “Most Promising Engineer/Scientist in Industry.”

Blake is married to Bridget Blake, a mechanical engineer who earned her M.B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and now serves as a consultant for The MITRE Corporation. They have two sons: Brendan Blake and Bryce Blake.

Brian M. Blake was interviewed y he HistoryMakers on June 3, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.139

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/3/2013

Last Name

Blake

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Brian

Schools

George Mason University

Mercer University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Benedictine Military School

Shuman Middle School

Eli Whitney Elementary

First Name

M.

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

BLA15

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

10/13/1971

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Coral Gables

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pudding (Bread)

Short Description

Computer scientist and academic administrator M. Brian Blake (1971 - ) joined the faculty of Georgetown University in 1998, and went on to become the youngest African American tenured computer science professor and the first African American to become chair of the computer science department. He was also the first African American tenured professor in the College of Engineering at the University Notre Dame.

Employment

University of Miami

University of Notre Dame

Georgetown University

MITRE Corporation

Cleared Solutions

Lockheed Martin

General Electric Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of M. Brian Blake's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake talks about his mother's growing up in Estill, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake talks about his mother's entrepreneurial skills and her influence on him

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake describes his father's growing up in Estill, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake talks about Estill, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - M. Brian Blake talks about how his parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - M. Brian Blake talks about his father's entrepreneurship

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake describes his childhood neighborhoods in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake talks about attending Townsley Chapel AME Church in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience in grade school - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake describes the changes in his childhood neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience in grade school - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience in grade school - part three

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes his interest in mathematics in grade school, and his father encouraging him to apply math to entrepreneurial use

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake describes his early exposure to computers and programming - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his early exposure to computers and programming - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience in middle school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at Benedictine Military Academy in Savannah, Georgia - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at Benedictine Military Academy in Savannah, Georgia - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake talks about his preparation in computer science in high school and his decision to major in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake talks about graduating from high school and his extracurricular activities there

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake talks about his growth spurt in high school, and running track

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake talks about his parents attending his track meets

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake talks about attending a minority introduction to engineering program at Purdue University and his decision to attend Georgia Tech

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake talks about his mentors at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and his experience as a research assistant

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake talks about his undergraduate research experience at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - M. Brian Blake talks about graduating from Georgia Tech as a member of the ANAK honor society

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes his decision to pursue the Edison Engineering Program at General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience of working as a software engineering consultant at Lockheed Martin and also pursing his master's degree

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at Mercer University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience of pursuing his Ph.D. degree at George Mason University while working on a full-time job

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake describes his decision to become a professor at Georgetown University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his Ph.D. dissertation on workflow models, and his relationship with his mentor, Skip Ellis

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake describes the impact of his Ph.D. dissertation on workflow models

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes Workflow Automation through Agent-based Reflective Processes (WARP) and its applications

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake talks about his mentor at George Mason University, Professor Hassan Gomaa

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at Georgetown University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake talks about serving as an expert witness

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience working for MITRE Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake talks about his involvement in mentoring

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake talks about serving as the lead software process consultant for the Imaging Science and Information Systems Research Center

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience as an administrator at Georgetown University

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - M. Brian Blake talks about Workflow Automation through Agent-based Reflective Processes (WARP) and working with the Department of Justice

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - M. Brian Blake talks about his involvement with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - M. Brian Blake talks about Beverly Magda at Georgetown University

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - M. Brian Blake describes how he was hired as a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 2009

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake describes his decision to become the vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school at the University of Miami

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at the University of Miami

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake describes his research focus in the area of service-oriented computing and cloud computing

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake talks about the cutting edge in computer science

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his research collaboration with HistoryMakers Ayanna Howard and Andrew Williams

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake talks about his career goals for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake reflects upon his career

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake discusses his goals for the University of Miami

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake talks about the University of Miami's football team

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake talks about starting a bank account at the age of eleven, buying his first house, and the importance of financial management

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
M. Brian Blake describes his early exposure to computers and programming - part one
M. Brian Blake describes Workflow Automation through Agent-based Reflective Processes (WARP) and its applications
Transcript
One of the interesting things I did, when I was in fifth grade, my dad [Malworsth Blake] bought this Apple IIe. It was one of the early MacIntosh, one of the early Apple machines. He said--he was so excited, he was like I'm going to use this to do all my accounting, it's going to save me time and all this stuff. I think he might have got on that thing maybe two months, before it started collecting dust. And we had a converted garage into a family room, so in fifth grade, I just picked it up and basically just started writing programs on it. I think by the time that I graduated from--we had a different machine by then, but by the time I was kind of in high school, I had hundreds of programs I'd written on that machine.$$Now, how did you get started with writing programs for an Apple IIe. Now, this is in the garage. Now, there's a missing part of this story, you just picked up and just started writing programs?$$I'll tell you the background. So the Apple IIe was there, and then I, in fifth grade, it had a couple of games on it, you could make these small programs to add things. The basic--it's interesting, the programming for Windows machine, it has like this DOS, very kind of rudimentary programming language, if you will, as the basic underneath the operating system. Those early machines, they just had basic programming language. So the programming language was actually the operating system language. So if your basic was the first programming language, most people learned it was kind of C, C++, basic, was just the foundation. So you could write small programs right from the command line on those Apple IIes. And I wrote a couple of things, I kind of add two numbers together and things like that. But how I really learned to program on that was that it had a couple of games on it and they were not games like we would know them today.$$What were the games?$$Yeah. Breakout was on there, which was like a bar and a couple of balls, and then it had other--so it had, what was it called, Westward Ho was a game on there. Most of the games were text-based. So this was a game that you had to move across the country with a lot of goods. It was kind of like a simulation, if you will, but you could decide what you were going to bring and what you're going to--it was kind of those societal games. There was another game on there that was a computer simulation for stocks. So you can-- another simulation of you had to make choices about what stocks to buy and what particular time, and the simulation would run, and you could actually grow different things. So, and I played those games, only a couple of those. So, you know, I got excited about games and particularly about, and these weren't like the games, like I said, this was not WE or Nintendo, or anything like that, these were like kind of text-based games, if you will. So I subscribed to, I think it was called PC Computing or PC World, it was a magazine. So back then, if you remember it, they had disk drives that were relatively new. They used to have a disk drive where the disk was about the size of a sheet of paper and then about the time I got on the machine, the disk was the size of--it was five and a quarter, so it was kind of like this size. (indicating) So, and those disk couldn't hold--they could hold some programs, but not so much. So what you would do is, you would order the magazine, and the magazine would come with all the programming language in it, and you'd have to type in the program line by line, and then you'd have the game. So that's kind of how you got--you could either buy it or you could actually subscribe to a magazine that would actually give you games.$$How did you get acquainted with PC World Magazine, was that at school?$$I guess so. I'm trying to think when--I started subscribing to that in fifth grade. My fifth grade was early for computers back then. Now, it's not so early. But I think I must have seen it somewhere. There was another buddy of mine in the neighborhood who also--I actually had Apple IIe and he had the Radio Shack version, it was a Tandy TR80, he had the other computer. So he and I would go back and forth about how you would do it. Probably some interaction there, we discovered the magazine. And once I got that, I think how I started learning the programs, I'd write this coding in, I knew nothing about what was going on, and then what would happen would be over time, it was all basic language, over time I'd begin to pick up what things mean. And the reason why you'd have to is because you're going to make mistakes when you type it in, and it wouldn't work, and you had to try to figure out--you could go line by line, but sometimes the program would be written wrong in the--so you would receive it wrong, so you couldn't get it to work because there was some error in it, so over time you would begin to realize, okay, I think I've caught all the errors, so it must be something else. And you begin to see some of the things that are breaking down, and you begin to read it a little closer, so it's almost--I think that's how people can pick up other languages, too. They watch TV and they look at text and over time, if you look at the subscripts that show on TV over time, you can kind of pick up what the language means because you're kind of comparing what happens to what's being said. And that was very similar for me, how I learned BASIC language basically through that, and over time, I just got better and started doing that.$Tell us about WARP [Workflow Automation through Agent-based Reflective Processes], I think we mentioned it in general, but not specifically?$$Right. So, WARP was this notion of--I think the acronym stands for Workflow Oriented Agent Base Reflective Processes is what it stood for, but the idea was--it was actually intelligent software using agents that could--reflective being that it could look--it could introspect on software that already exist and try to connect it into workflow automatically. So it was a--it really was sort of an expert system, if you will, that could actually assess already written code and develop workflows from that code. It was about I think it was like 15 or 20,000 lines of code I wrote during my dissertation, and it was really foundational to my early work. One of the interesting things about being a software engineer and being sort of self-proclaiming expert at programming was that when you do your dissertation you have all this theoretical stuff, you could actually--I could write my own software to kind of do a proof of concept and WARP was that proof of concept. And as I said later it extended to any number of projects that we had. We had a project with the Federal Aviation Administration where it actually served air traffic control data, had a project that served date through neuro informatics(sp) through the National Institute of Mental Health. We had another project where I used it for image guided surgery so the theory behind actually integrating the workflow and some of the modules we developed later, you know, based on that initial module were using any number of applications.$$Okay.

Joseph Monroe

Computer scientist Joseph Monroe was born in North Carolina. Monroe received his B.S. degrees in mathematics, English, and French from North Carolina A & T State University in 1962. He then enrolled at Texas A & M University and graduated from there with his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science in 1967 and 1972, respectively. Monroe was the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in computer science in the United States.

Upon graduation, Monroe was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and appointed as an associate professor of computer science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From 1978 to 1987, he held various positions at the U.S. Air Force Academy, including as the Dean of the Faculty, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, chair of the Computer Science Department. Monroe went on to become the first African American appointed as a full professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. While there, he was responsible for developing computer software systems such as the U.S. Air Force Manpower System, the U.S. Army Personnel System, U.S. Air Force Logistics systems, and the Armed Forces Intelligence Data Handling System. In addition, Monroe designed accredited computer science programs for the Egyptian Air Force Academy, and the Royal Thai Air Force Academy.

In 1987, Monroe joined the faculty at Fayetteville State University and served in various academic and administrative positions. He returned to North Carolina A & T State University in 1991 and was named Ronald E. McNair Endowed Professor and Chair of Computer Science. In 2000, Monroe assumed the additional role of Dean of the College of Engineering. Under his leadership, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Engineering grew in size, increased funding, and hired the most tenured African American engineering professors in the United States. Monroe was a founding member of the first computer science honor society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, which is now an international society. He served on the board of directors for the Industries of the Blind, the board of directors for Computing at NASA, and the board that governs the practice of Engineering and Surveying in North Carolina.

Monroe was awarded the U.S. Department of Defense Superior Service Medal for Superior Service and Teaching in 1987, and the U.S. Air Force Legion of Merit Service Medal for Outstanding Teaching and Research in 1974, 1978, and 1982. In 1992, he was named National Technical Achiever of the Year by the National Technical Achievers Association.

Monroe is married to the former Sally McNair Monroe. They have two sons: Joseph Monroe, Jr. and Col. Robert Bruce Monroe.

Joseph Monroe was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.075

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/7/2013

Last Name

Monroe

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Texas A&M University

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Rowland

HM ID

MON08

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Colorado

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

5/18/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Greensboro

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Computer scientist Joseph Monroe (1936 - ) was the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in the field of computer science, and went on to become the first African American appointed as a full professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Employment

United States Air Force Academy

Fayetteville State University

North Carolina A&T State University

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:434,4:1078,13:1538,20:3229,83:3545,88:3861,93:4177,98:5125,112:6468,140:6863,146:9075,177:10339,198:10971,207:11603,212:12156,222:12867,232:14289,256:15158,271:16343,293:20524,303:21676,328:22252,338:22900,380:23188,385:24268,415:25204,431:28267,443:28741,450:29373,460:32612,516:33244,526:38254,570:39499,577:40921,686:41237,691:42185,707:42501,712:43370,725:43844,754:44713,773:45108,779:45661,791:46530,841:46925,847:47873,876:48268,883:48584,888:48900,894:50480,921:51270,934:57615,972:57891,977:60409,996:61624,1009:62110,1018:62434,1023:62920,1030:63973,1053:67478,1068:67782,1073:68238,1085:68922,1096:69378,1103:70594,1129:71126,1140:71810,1152:72646,1165:73254,1177:73862,1187:74698,1202:75230,1211:78681,1227:79753,1246:80490,1260:80892,1267:89524,1320:90077,1329:90867,1342:91973,1360:92289,1365:94738,1404:95133,1410:95528,1416:97108,1446:104458,1530:107160,1567:107871,1579:108661,1591:109846,1606:110399,1615:111189,1627:111505,1632:112769,1652:114191,1672:115929,1703:117035,1717:117351,1722:117667,1727:118378,1737:124798,1789:126811,1833:127238,1842:127848,1854:128092,1859:128519,1868:134225,1904:135265,1924:135785,1936:136110,1942:136370,1947:137280,1964:138970,1996:139490,2005:140530,2031:141440,2050:142740,2084:148240,2148:149150,2166:150410,2186:151110,2205:152090,2240:153420,2268:153700,2273:153980,2278:167580,2448:168482,2476:169384,2489:169794,2495:170614,2507:179568,2602:181650,2611$440,0:1178,8:2438,14:3296,24:3998,36:4700,47:5792,62:9302,209:15304,274:15843,282:16382,291:16921,299:19590,309:20310,322:20790,330:21270,339:22170,363:24149,389:24856,398:26775,419:30800,460:31283,469:31904,479:32180,484:32456,489:33146,500:42494,619:43047,628:44232,646:45417,669:47234,704:48735,731:49209,739:49525,744:50157,752:50789,761:51816,775:57372,802:58926,829:59814,846:60628,861:61812,882:62774,896:63070,901:63366,906:63662,911:63958,916:65734,948:66326,957:67140,972:68102,993:68768,1003:69434,1014:71654,1050:71950,1056:72690,1067:73578,1080:78361,1103:79396,1123:79879,1132:84226,1227:84502,1232:85054,1241:88832,1261:89076,1266:89625,1278:89869,1283:90479,1294:90784,1300:91577,1319:91821,1324:93102,1362:93956,1381:94200,1386:95176,1406:95725,1418:98043,1475:98775,1490:99019,1495:99446,1504:99812,1511:100056,1517:100483,1526:101276,1558:105620,1654:105868,1659:115258,1885:115534,1890:118715,1918:119174,1926:120296,1953:121367,1983:121622,1989:121826,1994:130848,2062:131518,2075:131987,2083:132791,2101:133059,2106:134600,2138:135270,2153:135605,2159:135873,2164:136342,2172:136811,2180:137079,2185:137615,2194:137883,2199:139156,2211:139424,2216:146102,2250:148402,2267:149082,2279:149422,2285:151326,2327:151870,2336:152618,2348:155406,2415:155882,2423:156630,2443:159418,2507:161118,2549:161390,2554:161934,2565:162478,2574:166740,2597:166980,2602:171280,2670:174465,2703:174685,2710:175400,2729:175840,2738:176720,2767:177490,2786:182420,2804
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Monroe's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe describes his mother's family background and her poor educational opportunities

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes the history, demographics and racial climate of Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mother's talent for singing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about the South of the Border resort located at the border of the Carolinas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe describes his father's talents, his interest in baseball, and the baseball games in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family's life as sharecroppers in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes how his parents met in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe describes his likeness to his parents and lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Joseph Monroe describes his family's home where he grew up in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Joseph Monroe describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Joseph Monroe describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Joseph Monroe talks about the landscape of Rowland, North Carolina, the farming activities, and the industries that were established there

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Joseph Monroe talks about his childhood interest in taking gadgets apart and putting them back together

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about his experience in elementary school, and juggling his education with his responsibilities on the family farm

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family gatherings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe discusses segregation and the racial dynamics in Rowland, North Carolina in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes watching the second boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling with his grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe recalls the excitement when Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about excelling in mathematics in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about his determination to not become a farmer and his experience in his high school typing class

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about his decision to join the United States Air Force in 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe describes his early experience in the United States Air Force, and learning Russian at Syracuse University in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience in Turkey while stationed there with the United States Air Force in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe talks about his efforts to continue his education while stationed in Turkey

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about the U.S. Air Force's educational and financial benefits - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about the U.S. Air Force's educational and financial benefits - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about how he met his wife, Sallie Monroe

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at the University of Colorado, and the master's degree program in computer science

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at North Carolina A & T State University in the 1960s - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at North Carolina A&T University in the 1960s - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience as a graduate student at Texas A & M University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about the early days of computers and computer programming systems

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mentors at Texas A&M University and about founding the computer science honor society, Epsilon Pi Epsilon

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience on the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he taught computer science

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe describes his decision to pursue his Ph.D. degree in computer science

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe describes taking the GRE and his experience with finding housing at Texas A&M University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe describes his trip from Colorado to Texas in 1965, and race relations in College Station, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about his Ph.D. dissertation on complexity theory and about winning the U.S. Air Force Academy golf championship

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe discusses his Ph.D. dissertation on complexity theory and earning his Ph.D. degree in computer science

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe talks about the growth of degree programs in computer science in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about being the first African American to be appointed as a tenured permanent professor at any U.S. service academy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about accrediting computer science programs, teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Patricia Schroeder

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about the evolution of computers since the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe describes his decision to accept a position as the vice president of academic affairs at the University of North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe talks about serving at Fayetteville State University and at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe discusses his endowed professorship of computer science at North Carolina A&T University, and the field of geomatics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe describes the uses of geomatics and explains how a GPS device works

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on transportation security for the Department of Homeland Security, and on facial and voice recognition

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on reusing the ATA language in the navigation systems for ships

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on adaptation and scalability in computers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe describes his contributions as the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A & T University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about the Engineering Research Center at North Carolina A & T State University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mentoring initiatives at North Carolina A & T State University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about serving on the Board of Directors for Computing at NASA

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his most significant contributions as the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family, and his decision to not enroll in the NASA astronaut program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about his sons, Joseph Monroe, Jr. and Robert Bruce Monroe

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe reflects upon his legacy and talks about his involvement in the Bible training center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Joseph Monroe talks about his decision to join the United States Air Force in 1954
Joseph Monroe describes his contributions as the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A & T University
Transcript
So, when you were a senior [at Rowland Southside School, Rowland, North Carolina], what were your prospects for college? Were you thinking about college?$$Yes, I was. But the problem was--I could sense, I knew about our financial situation. And it took money to be in college. And I had a sister in college, at Fayetteville Teachers' College [Fayetteville, North Carolina] at that time. And I can remember the struggle we had getting her twenty dollars a month. They let us have a monthly plan, but that was a struggle, getting that to her. So, the principal had said I could go to [North Carolina] A and T [Agricultural and Technical University, Greensboro, North Carolina] and come back and be the math teacher. My father [Willie Birth Monroe] thought that was a great idea and my mother [Cilla Jane Baker Monroe] thought it was a great idea. I didn't think it was such a good idea, because that would be hand going off to college and we had, my sister had two more years. One of the young men in from our high school went to the [U.S.] Air Force. And he came back in the school and talked about it, and I begged my parents to allow me to join the Air Force. And about the time they were ready to capitulate, the neighbor's son was killed in the Korean conflict. They said, no way. But my mom found--one Sunday I didn't go to church. I stayed back practicing my father's signature. She found those notes. She said, "That boy's determined to go, we'd better let him go." So, they signed for me to go to the Air Force. And I told, I promised her I would go to college and study math and become a teacher and come back. And I had no intentions of doing that. But I did go to the Air Force and got some good technical training. And the principal's wife was the English teacher. She thought I should go and study math and English and come back and teach that. So--, but I didn't. I went off to the Air Force. And after four years in the Air Force my time was up, but I was overseas doing a good job, and the commanding officer said, "We're going to send you to college." I told my mom, "The Air Force is going to send me to college. I'm not getting out."$$Now, just, I want to go back a little bit, just to get the dates.$$Yes.$$You graduated from high school in what?$$1954.$$'54 [1954]. Okay.$$Graduated in May, and June 1, I was in Texas.$$In the United States Air Force.$$The United States Air Force.$$And you went to, where in Texas did you go?$$Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio [Texas].$$Okay, okay. And that's where you had basic training, I guess, right?$$Basic training.$Tell us about being the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A and T [Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina].$$That was a lot of fun. I had all the classical disciplines there. And my biggest thing there was fund-raising, raising funds to recruit students, particularly African American students. It was a big challenge. And our alums were not accustomed to giving much (laughter). So, what I did was got with the companies that were recruiting African Americans--General Electric, Northrup Grumman, and all the companies that recruited--Merck Company. And I got with the presidents of the people who handled the finances and told them, "Look, you don't need--if you want to beef up your African American population in engineering, see me." And they did, and I did. They came and saw our programs. And what I did do to the programs, was make sure they were nationally recognized. And the national recognition in engineering, there's something called the Fundamentals of Engineering, the FE exam, nationally standardized exam. I convinced the students they could pass the exam. And the big problem I had--the faculty wanted to run me off--was convincing the faculty that students could pass. So, we went back to the math department where they enter--worked with them. And we worked with the physics department, worked with everybody who had a hand in the fundamentals. We worked with them. We got our students passing at the same rate, or higher rate, than the students at NC [North Carolina] State [University, Raleigh, North Carolina]. Duke [University, Durham, North Carolina] was the only school in North Carolina that offered engineering that could out-perform the [North Carolina] A and T students in engineering. The school at the University of Charlotte [University of North Carolina at Charlotte], we swooped them first. (laughter) Then we took NC State. We never--Duke was always 100 percent. We never could take them. We'd be in the high 90s, 100 percent area every other year. That got the program going, and we got more funding than we needed. When I left, they had about five million dollars they couldn't find students to come take.$$Now, it says here that you also, under your leadership, there were more tenured or tenure-track African American engineering professors at A and T than any other place in the country.$$I just adopted from the [U.S.] Air Force. I would find the ones who was good in the undergraduate program and sponsor him or her for two to four years in a doctoral program. Most of them were successful. Then the allocation [ph.] they had there was, I had to compete for them at the end, you know. They could get big salaries elsewhere. I had to get the salaries up, to do that.$$Okay, okay.

Odest Jenkins

Computer scientist Odest Chadwicke Jenkins was born on xx/xx/1975 in [city], [state]. Jenks attended Alma College, where he graduated with his B.S. degrees in computer science and mathematics in 1996. He enrolled in graduate school at Georgia Technical Institute and received his M.S. degree in computer science in 1998. There he was a graduate research assistant and a graduate teaching assistant. Jenkins went on to attend the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where earned his Ph.D. degree in computer science in 2003.

Upon graduating, Jenkins was awarded a postdoctoral research award in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In 2004, Jenkins joined the faculty in the Department of Computer Science at brown University as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2010. Jenkins is the leader of Robotics, Learning and Autonomy Group at Brown University. The group explores topics related to human-robot interactions and robot learning with a specific focus on robot learning from human demonstration and robot software systems. Jenkins works with Brown University faculty and graduate students to develop methods for autonomous robot control and perception. In 2011, Jenkins worked to develop the “PR2 Remote Lab,” a remote-controlled computer laboratory designed to promote collaborative research and documentation.

Jenkins’ research has been published in numerous scholarly and professional journals, including Human-Robot Interaction, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. In 2010, Jenkins published Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology. He has also served on the editorial board for International Journal of Robotics Research, and the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics.

Jenkins is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his work in physics-based human tracking from video. In 2009, Jenkins was the recipient of the Sloan Reseearch Fellowship, and, was as selected as the National Academy of Science’s Kavi Fellow. He has received research funding from the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation. In 2010, Popular Science Magazine named Jenkins one of their “Brilliant 10.” Jenkins lives in Providence Massachusetts.

Odest Chadwicke Jenkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 8, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.213

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/8/2012

Last Name

Jenkins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Chadwicke

Organizations
Schools

University of Southern California

Georgia Institute of Technology

Alma College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Odest

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

JEN09

Favorite Season

June

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Get 'er done. and Drop it like it's hot.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

1/9/1974

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chow Mein

Short Description

Robotics engineer and computer scientist Odest Jenkins (1974 - ) is a pioneering robotics engineer whose research with the Robotics, Learning and Autonomy Group at Brown University led to the PR2 Remote Laboratory.

Employment

Brown University

University of Southern California

Georgia Institute of Technology

Intel Corporation

PRISM Lab

Alma College

Ford Systems Integration Center

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Odest Jenkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about moving around during his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins talks about Atari videogames

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about his introduction into computer programming

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience in Anniston, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about his family's involvement in the church growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience living in Wheaton, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins talks about his first computer class at the College of DuPage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about computers and videogame platforms during the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his disinterest in his studies

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins describes his career aspirations during his formative years

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his parents' involvement in his academics

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about his brother

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about playing sports in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins reflects on his moving around during his adolescence

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Odest Jenkins talks about his academic struggles

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Odest Jenkins reflects on his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Odest Jenkins talks about FE programming language

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Odest Jenkins talks about his post-high school aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Odest Jenkins talks about Eastern Regional High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins talks about his decision to attend Alma College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience at Alma College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his interest in math

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience as a resident assistant at Alma College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his research experience at the University of Texas, Arlington

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about the emerging technologies of the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about lobbying for a 3-D computer graphics course at Alma College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience as an intern at the Ford System Integration Center

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Odest Jenkins talks about his mentors at Alma College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins talks about his decision to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about 3D graphics and visual effects in film

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his introduction to robotics

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience at the University of Southern California

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about Ayanna Howard

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about the evolution of the robotics industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins talks about his work in the Interaction Lab at the University of Southern California

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins describes his dissertation in robotics and data-analysis

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about motion capture technology

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his conference publications

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about his work at Brown University (part 1)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his work at Brown University (part 2)

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about his professional awards and accolades

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about his passion for his work

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins talks about the 'Oz of Wizard'

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins reflects on his life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about Willow Garage

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins shares his advice for aspiring scientists

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about the economic potential of robots

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins reflects on how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

1$8

DATitle
Odest Jenkins talks about Atari videogames
Odest Jenkins talks about his experience as an intern at the Ford System Integration Center
Transcript
Okay, now, the Atari, from what I've read, it was a pivotal device in your upbringing. And--$$Right.$$--describe it. Now, what was an Atari and what was the significance of Atari when it came out?$$Right, so at the time, growing up, I, you know, television was only a, it was only, it wasn't something you could interact with. Television was something that just projected images at you, and you would watch, I'd watch, you know, TV shows, you know, so I'd be watching, you know, maybe basketball or football or "The Jefferson's" or "I Love Lucy" or something like that. And, you know, I'd watch a lot of TV, a lot of cartoons, but the Atari, when it came in, was a videogame device, cartridge-based videogame device. So you could plug in a cartridge, be able to play a game. And it basically hooked up to the, the device would hook up to your television through the antenna. So you would essentially, you'd connect these little electrical leads to the, you'd replace the antenna with these little electrical leads. And the Atari would send a video signal to the television, and you would be able to see this game play, and what was great about it was that now I could interact with the images on the screen. I could move my Joystick and I could see things happen. And it was a total interactive, immersive experience. It's something that we take for granted now. But it was amazing for me to see as an eight-year old in the early '80's [1980s]. And it, and my path into computer science was essentially about how to do I make those games for myself? And, and in order to, and the thing that you have to realize is in order to make those games, you have to know something about electrical engineering, computer science and you have to know something about physics, because physics is what makes those games move. And so, so my realization over the years to come about how do I make these games was essentially, was essentially me telling myself, I need to be in, I need to be in computing.$$Now, I remember the first Atari I ever saw had a game called, a ping pong game.$$Right, yeah.$$And very a simple thing, no graphics on it, just an electronic blip--$$Right.$$--that, and two longer blips--$$Right.$$--were the paddles and bounced it, you know, across the screen, and it had a realistic bounce.$$Right.$$And I was, but then by the time you, it got to you though, it was a little bit more sophisticated, right?$$Right, so the game that came with the Atari was this game called Combat. So it was essentially two tanks that you could drive around. So you had your joystick, and if you pushed forward, it'd make the tank go forward. And if you turned left, it'd make it turn right, left in place or turn right. And then you had the little fire button. So you just had to look, like a small joystick that was, you know, that came out from the paddle, and you had like a little fire button. So you would just around, playing tanks with each other and shooting at each. And that was just, that was amazing. But the game that my parents bought with the system was this game called "Space Invaders". And so, you know, it's these little, you know, the game and you see it today, and you just have these rows of, you know, of invading enemies coming and you have to go up and you have to move to position to shoot them. And as you shoot more, they get faster and faster and faster. And, you know, there's no, I mean to some extent there's no point to the game. It never ends. But it was just amazing to see. It was like, wow, how did they do this. It seemed like magic, but it wasn't magic. It was, and at the core, it was, you know, science and technology and engineering. And that's really where, you know, that gave me the spark to pursue my career.$You had an internship at Ford System Integration Center in Allen Park [Michigan], right?$$Right.$$On, I guess the summer between your junior and senior year? And can you talk about that one for a minute?$$Right, so I worked at Ford Motor Company for, you know, in the summer 1995, and I actually lived--and they put us up at the University Tower in Ann Arbor [Michigan]. So I would commute from Ann Arbor to essentially, Allen Park is Dearborn [Michigan], essentially. And I got to see what life was like doing more of the IT side of the Information Technology side. You know, that was where I got my first taste of Windows 95, and we got to see all the bills and I got to see, you know, the people that were, you know, apparently, there were rumors that some of the people that--because Microsoft was helping us transition, helping Ford transition to Windows 95. I got to see some people that, you know, that just looked like anybody else, but apparently were millionaires because they, you know, because they got into Microsoft, you know, pretty early. But, you know, it's just great to see what the professionals are, you know, what professional IT people look like. And, you know, and I think what I realized from that is that I'm just not that. I'm, you know, these people do a great job to make sure the systems are up and running, and they're extremely knowledgeable, but my interests was more towards the innovation, you know, how could we do something new, make something that wasn't possible before. And so that's what I--I left that experience thinking that graduate school was the right thing for me.$$Okay, because there was a path that you could have worked for Ford or something or could have-- (simultaneous)--$$I could have, I could have gone more down that route of, you know, whether it was for Ford or for another company, to do Information Technology and to be more of a professional IT person or to be a professional software developer. And I realized that I'm just more interested, I was just more interested in knowledge, innovation than--I was more interested in the question than the answer. I wanted to say how could we do this thing as opposed to how can we do things that we can't do before rather than somebody coming to me with a question and saying how do we answer that question. How do we do this technical thing that we know is possible, but we just need to work out the details. That wasn't (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$That doesn't excite you. Okay.$$Not at the time (laughter).

Valerie Taylor

Computer science and engineering professor Valerie E. Taylor was born on May 24, 1963. She attended Purdue University where she received her B.S. degree in computer and electrical engineering in 1985 and her M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1986. She continued her education at the University of California at Berkeley where she received her Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 1991.

That same year, Taylor joined the faculty at Northwestern University as an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. She became an associate professor in 1997 and then a full professor in 2002. In 2003, Taylor transferred to Texas A&M University where she was named head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering as well as the Stewart & Stevenson Professor. Since 2004, Taylor has been the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor and head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Her research interests lie in high performance computing. Taylor is currently working on “Prophesy,” a database used to collect and analyze data to predict the performance on different applications on parallel systems. She has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the “OptiPuter” and “New Approaches to Human Potential Realization through Information Technology Research” as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) University Research, Engineering and Technology Institutes (URETI) Program for “Nanoelectronics.” Currently, she is funded by the National Science Foundation to use Prophesy in conjunction with two other tools for the purpose of exploring the performance and power for applications on current parallel systems.

In 2001, Taylor received the Pathbreaker Award from the Women in Leadership at Northwestern University and the Hewlett Packard Harriet B. Rigas Education Award. The following year, Taylor was named a Young Outstanding Leader by the University of California, Berkeley’s Distinguished Engineering Alumni Society. That same year she also received the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) A. Nico Habermann Award for outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. She has also been recognized as a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer and in 2005, Taylor was given the Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science, and Diversifying Computing. Since 2008, Taylor has served on the Board of Directors for the Computing Research Association.

Accession Number

A2012.190

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/14/2012

Last Name

Taylor

Schools

Purdue University

University of California, Berkeley

Maria High School

St. Leo Elementary School

First Name

Valerie

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

TAY12

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

What's up?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

5/24/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bryan/College Station

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Collard), Smoked Turkey

Short Description

Computer scientist and engineering professor Valerie Taylor (1963 - ) studies high performance computing, with particular emphasis on the performance analysis and modeling of parallel and distributed applications.

Employment

Northwestern University

Texas A&M University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Valerie Taylor's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Valerie Taylor lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Valerie Taylor describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Valerie Taylor talks about Emancipation Day and the differences between the South and the North

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Valerie Taylor talks about her mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Valerie Taylor describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Valerie Taylor talks about her father's growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Valerie Taylor talks about her father's career and interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Valerie Taylor talks about how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Valerie Taylor describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Valerie Taylor talks about her household and describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Valerie Taylor talks about her childhood home and neighborhood

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

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Valerie Taylor talks about her childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Valerie Taylor talks about her elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Valerie Taylor talks about her father's company, Sonicraft

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Valerie Taylor talks about her developing interest in technology and her father's company, Sonicraft

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Valerie Taylor talks about her childhood television

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Valerie Taylor talks about the social atmosphere of Maria High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Valerie Taylor talks about the politics around education in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Valerie Taylor talks about her experience at Maria High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Valerie Taylor talks about the racial climate in Chicago during her adolescence

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Valerie Taylor talks about her high school teachers and the ID program sponsored by IIT

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Valerie Taylor talks about her decision to attend Purdue University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Valerie Taylor talks about her social life, her peers, and the National Society of Black Engineers at Purdue University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Valerie Taylor talks about the importance of study groups

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Valerie Taylor talks about her professors and mentor at Purdue University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Valerie Taylor talks about her decision to pursue her Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Valerie Taylor talks about her experience living in California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Valerie Taylor talks about her Ph.D. advisor at the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Valerie Taylor talks about her dissertation research concerning parallel computing and finite analysis

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Valerie Taylor talks about her experience defending her dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Valerie Taylor talks about her involvement in the Black Engineering and Science Students' Association

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Valerie Taylor talks about her decision to become a professor at Northwestern University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Valerie Taylor talks about her experience as a professor

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Valerie Taylor talks about receiving the National Science Foundation Investigator Award

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Valerie Taylor talks about balancing family with her career

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Valerie Taylor talks about Prophesy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Valerie Taylor talks about GriPhyN and AADMLS

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Valerie Taylor talks about her professional awards and outreach activities

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Valerie Taylor talks about Richard Tapia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Valerie Taylor talks about her perceptions of Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Valerie Taylor talks about the Institute of African American E-Culture

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Valerie Taylor talks about her experience as department chair at Texas A&M University

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Valerie Taylor talks about the NASA URETI Program and the OptIPuter

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Valerie Taylor talks about her awards and professional affiliations

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Valerie Taylor talks about her research

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Valerie Taylor talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Valerie Taylor reflects upon her legacy and life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Valerie Taylor talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Valerie Taylor talks about being a single mom

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Valerie Taylor reflects on how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Valerie Taylor talks about her developing interest in technology and her father's company, Sonicraft
Valerie Taylor talks about her experience as a professor
Transcript
So did you get involved in early programs in technology for youth when you were in grade school, or did it add them later, or--$$Well, I think we were, as children we were exposed to technology through my father's [Willie James Taylor] company. So, for example when I was young, my mother [Ollie Mae Thompson Taylor], that's when my mother went back to school, first at Kennedy King Community College and then National, in terms of getting her degree. And so, on Saturdays my father would take us to work with him. And it's funny, because my sister and I, first we would be at his desk acting like we were secretaries, writing on paper, okay. But then, you slowly ventured to the electronics bench, okay. And so, when you mentioned about smell, one smell that comes to mind is that of a soldering iron. I can tell that smell anywhere because it's something I grew up smelling, you know, going to work with my father on Saturdays. Because oftentimes he would go in, not to work on paperwork, but to be at the bench building something such that when I was in high school, I was very familiar with schematics. I was familiar with breadboard. I could look at a schematic and build a breadboard. And I just thought that was the norm. I could work on bikes (laughter). You were used to having a volt meter around to see if something were connected. You just knew, go get the volt meter and see if you have a current through. (laughter). That was our norm, and for example, in our house, my father built our first speaker. It was nice. Everybody talked about that. The sound from the speaker--and he also built our first record player. So, for a long time our record player had vacuum tubes, okay, where we had to jingle the vacuum tube, and you knew the record player was on because the filament lit up in the vacuum tube, okay. So, everything was, all the electronics were exposed. So, you'd jiggle it: "Okay, the record player's on, play the record." And so, it wasn't until I was high school that we got this record player where everything was enclosed. And I was like, "Dad, where are the vacuum tubes?" (laughter). He'd say, "We have transistors now." (laughter). So, we, I think we grew up with technology, but not knowing it as such, but you just grew up thinking this was the norm. And he always taught you, he would take time to teach you how to fix something. Or, he would say, you know, you would say "Oh, this is broken." And he would go, "Go get the screwdriver." And you knew what a Phillips versus a flathead was, and "Go get the Phillips, let's take it apart and let's see what's going on." And it may be something with the wires. And so, that, that was Dad and that was the norm. So I think all of us, my sister and brother--currently if something's broken, you go, "Get the Phillips, see what's going on, maybe it can be fixed." (laughter). You know, that's your first thought. I think now it's funny because my mother is like "Can't you call a repairman because you know it takes a little while for your father to get to stuff. Go ahead and call." (laughter). But, he'll fix anything first. Uh huh.$$That sounds like an engineer.$$Yes, so we did grow up with technology.$$Now, Sonicraft was the first black technology company to, you know, bring down big government contracts.$$Yes.$$They're well known. I mean, people heard the name. I didn't know your father, but I heard of the name Sonicraft. There's some people, you know, doing this deep technology for the government. And I said wow. Then I met Carl Spite at one point.$$Oh yes, uh huh.$$He was working with Sonicraft. So, it was exciting to a lot of people just to think that we had a company that could do that, because a lot of black people didn't imagine that we had anyone in deep technology.$$Right.$$And so, it was a thrill and, you know, for us to even think about that. (laughter).$$It was. And, but my mother, my mother kept it real, okay. So, and it was interesting, because my father, when George Bush 41 was vice-president under [President Ronald] Reagan, my father went to the White House because of the contract they received from the government. So, we have a picture of him with at that time vice-president Bush.$$Right, right. I saw it yesterday actually standing in front of the White House.$$Yes. So, it's--$$The Sonicraft staff--$$Right. So, it's really phenomenal. And they hired engineers from MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology], and it was great, the work that was being done there. So, my father, all of us grew up with Sonicraft. So, my brother, my sister, myself, we all worked at Sonicraft, and our friends. Because my mother's view is if she came home from work during the summer and we were sitting around the house, we had to get a job. Because my mother said, "I'm not coming home to people lounging." And if we had friends over, they had to get a job. So they knew if they came by the house, they had to get a job. (laughter). And she would always tell my father, "Please get the kids a job. So, that way, they'd come home at five, having worked a day." So, when you were eligible to work at sixteen, we were working at Sonicraft.$$Okay, okay.$$Uh huh. And even after my brother graduated with his degree, he worked at Sonicraft. My sister, after she finished with her degree in information systems, she worked at Sonicraft for some time. Her husband, at that time they were just dating, he worked at Sonicraft during the summer as a summer intern while he was in college. So, everybody in our circle, you know, at one summer or another you went through Sonicraft. And it was, it was great.$And we have your comment in the outline that you made that you were, that there was never an image of a black woman professor in your mind, because you'd never seen one.$$Right.$$In all your years in school, you never saw a black woman professor, in college anyway.$$No, so I've never had a black woman professor stand in front of me. So, I went to Northwestern in October of '91' [1991] and I started teaching in January. And so, I went to Janet before teaching, and I'm going, "Janet, what earrings do I wear, how do I look? Do I wear something ethnic? You know, what should I look like in front of the class?" And so, she just laughed and she said, "Yourself." And I go, "But, Janet. You know, and it comes to mind, I've never seen a black woman stand in front of me, so I don't know what it looks like, and I don't know how that person will be received by the students." So, it was very overwhelming, you know, to prepare for the first lecture in class. And you worried about all these different things, because you never had that image before.$$Okay.$$And it really goes to the heart of having those images, uh huh. Because then you could say, this worked, this didn't. And without those images, I didn't know what worked and what didn't. And you know, and that was the reason for asking the question, you know, can you wear something ethnic? You know, how are you being perceived? And so, you know, being yourself, yes, but you, you know, it's a wide range that you have. Because it's not where you wear all ethnic clothes, and you wear big earrings, little earrings, you know, jewelry. What do you wear? Do you wear slacks, skirts? So, it's all these options. And you're just going, you know, what worked and what didn't?$$So did you strike a balance in terms of--$$Yes, over time I began to feel comfortable wearing what I wanted to wear and not what I perceived I should be wearing. And so, because if I feel comfortable in how I look, then it comes across in what I'm doing, that comfort. Because you feel comfortable with the material, and I have no problems with being questioned and how to deal with questions, because I think at Berkeley you're constantly being questioned. And so, your assumption is that if people ask a lot of questions, that means they're engaged. If I give a presentation and I don't get that many questions, I think that's a bad presentation, because that meant that people did not find it interesting enough to challenge me in some way. So, it's not where questions--that I wanted to avoid questions--but it was just the perception of how you're perceived as an instructor. So it was, I think it took probably about a semester, and then I felt comfortable.$$Okay. So--$$And I wore bright colors. (laughter). I wore what I wanted to wear.

Michael Spencer

Electrical Engineer, Computer Scientist and Engineering Professor Michael G. Spencer was born on March 9, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. Spencer’s passion for teaching is part of a family tradition, his mother and grandparents were teachers. He grew up in Washington, D.C. and travelled to Ithaca, New York to study at Cornell University. He earned his B.S. degree in 1974 and his M.S. degree in 1975. Spencer worked at Bell Laboratories from 1974 to 1977 before returning to Cornell to receive his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 1981.
He joined the faculty of Howard University as an assistant professor in 1984. Spencer also founded the Materials Science Center for Excellence in 1984 and served as its director for the entirety of his career at Howard. He spent the next eighteen years working and researching at Howard, becoming a full professor in 1990 and the David and Lucile Packard Chaired Professor of Materials Science in 1999. During this time, Spencer also worked as a visiting scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s JET Propulsion Laboratory. In 1999, he returned to his alma mater, Cornell University as professor of electrical engineering. He served as associate dean of research and graduate studies for the College of Engineering from 2002 to 2008. Spencer directed the Wide Bandgap Laboratory where he researched semiconductor materials like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN), as well as two dimensional semiconductors like graphene. He co-founded Widetronix, a company that builds low power long life betavoltaic batteries. Spencer has written over 130 publications concerning semiconductors and has also co-authored eleven United States patents.

Spencer has received much recognition for his research and teaching. In 1985, he received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. Spencer also received the QEM (Quality Education for Minorities) Giants of Science Award and the Allen Berman Research Publication Award from the Naval Research Laboratory. He served as one of the directors for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Nano-Fabrication Network. Spencer was a member of the program committee of the American Vacuum Society and the International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials. He also held memberships in the Electronic Materials Conference Organizing Committee and the Compound Semiconductor Symposium Organizing Committee. Spencer lives in Ithaca, New York.
Michael G. Spencer was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 5, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.158

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/5/2012

Last Name

Spencer

Middle Name

Gregg

Schools

Cornell University

New Hampton School

Jefferson Middle School Academy

La Salle Elementary School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Michael

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

SPE63

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $200-$300

Favorite Season

None

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium $200-$300 (may be waived or negotiated depending on circumstance)

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/9/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Ithaca

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Electrical engineer, computer scientist, and engineering professor Michael Spencer (1952 - ) is a leader in materials science and holds eleven United States patents.

Employment

Bell Laboratories

Howard University

Cornell University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4811,56:5903,67:11727,228:19860,308:20820,322:24740,367:26580,402:28180,439:28500,444:44122,628:44892,640:45277,646:47818,701:48126,706:48434,711:52815,730:57745,805:63790,851:64255,857:70132,889:74560,928:75510,936:76080,942:76935,952:79025,974:81020,993:82065,1005:82540,1011:88554,1048:89490,1062:94014,1126:94404,1132:96354,1165:96666,1170:97914,1196:98226,1201:98616,1207:104794,1250:109170,1294:109995,1307:116260,1362:121096,1425:127468,1488:127998,1494:131708,1531:136394,1557:136718,1562:138986,1598:139958,1616:141011,1634:144575,1682:145061,1689:145790,1694:147005,1711:147410,1717:152346,1740:152634,1746:152994,1752:155874,1804:156954,1819:158610,1854:159258,1866:162184,1878:164692,1921:165220,1931:165814,1943:168904,1961:169996,1975:170836,1989:172432,2012:176082,2022:178904,2063:179485,2072:183742,2099:184374,2108:185085,2118:191484,2194:195934,2220:197628,2245:197936,2253:198783,2266:204756,2329:205274,2338:206088,2351:207272,2374:208160,2387:208530,2393:209196,2404:210084,2423:213682,2445:214048,2452:214353,2458:214780,2466:215390,2479:221850,2546:224034,2577:224762,2586:227800,2613:232222,2704:232486,2709:233542,2727:234400,2742:235324,2756:244960,2834:245800,2848:247312,2869:253200,2910:264987,3077:266261,3094:270078,3109:270654,3118:271806,3137:272454,3146:272742,3151:279552,3237:281961,3291:284808,3353:285684,3363:287436,3406:309241,3572:309873,3585:313707,3617:314358,3629:314916,3636:319450,3683:320099,3698:320335,3703:322460,3737$0,0:448,4:6376,151:13132,198:15750,223:20320,228:21508,241:30039,300:30854,306:48989,475:49624,481:52326,502:52598,507:52938,513:65438,584:68062,624:69690,640:70086,647:72955,692:75160,721:79180,759:80236,771:80908,782:84070,797:85137,809:85719,816:89874,880:90294,886:104544,970:110092,1105:111384,1190:115370,1281:123794,1438:139372,1521:151180,1683:151810,1717:173604,1962:190156,2101:192328,2290:212058,2472:212553,2478:216810,2551:217404,2565:218295,2575:219978,2602:224060,2627:225076,2636:229400,2692:230600,2710:231400,2725:233000,2739:233400,2744:240936,2840:243246,2882:244434,2912:244698,2917:245622,2936:245886,2941:246414,2951:250230,2993:254590,3046:255990,3082:263420,3129:265320,3158:267920,3201:268820,3211:271955,3225:272391,3230:272936,3236:280010,3312
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michael Spencer's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michael Spencer lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michael Spencer describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michael Spencer talks about the Denmark Vesey Revolt

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michael Spencer talks about the history of Charleston, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michael Spencer talks about his ancestors in the Marines during the Revolutionary War

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michael Spencer talks about his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michael Spencer describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michael Spencer describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michael Spencer describes his paternal great-grandfather acquiring freedom and becoming a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michael Spencer describes how his paternal great-grandfather became a shoemaker

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michael Spencer talks about his paternal great-grandfather losing his stocks in the Stock Market Crash of 1929

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michael Spencer talks about his great-grandmother Sue Spencer's family pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michael Spencer talks about his great-grandmother Sue Spencer's family pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michael Spencer talks about his father growing up in Frankfort, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michael Spencer talks about his father's career as a beer salesman

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michael Spencer describes how his parent's met

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michael Spencer talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michael Spencer describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michael Spencer talks about his household as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michael Spencer describes the neighborhoods he grew up in

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michael Spencer talks about elementary school and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michael Spencer talks about the death of his father

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michael Spencer talks about his mother's careers

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michael Spencer talks about government officials his mother worked with

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michael Spencer talks about his mother being part of African American society in Washington D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Michael Spencer talks about his junior high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michael Spencer talks working with a graduate student on his science fair project

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michael Spencer talks about Dr. Herman Branson's involvement in the discovery of the structure of DNA

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michael Spencer talks about Dr. Herman Branson

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michael Spencer describes how he decided to go to a prep school in New Hampshire

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michael Spencer talks about his experience at his prep school, New Hampton School, in New Hampshire

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michael Spencer describes his science classes and extracurricular activities at his prep school, New Hampton School

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michael Spencer talks about his interviews for admission to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michael Spencer describes the racial tensions on Cornell University's campus when he attended

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michael Spencer talks about the Africana Studies Department at Cornell University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Michael Spencer describes the engineering department at Cornell University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Michael Spencer talks about the Black Electrical Engineers and alumni of Cornell University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Michael Spencer talks about his time as a member of the Nation of Islam

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Michael Spencer talks about Minister Farrakhan and Malcolm X

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Michael Spencer talks about religion

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Michael Spencer talks about his education at Cornell University

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Michael Spencer describes the work environment at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Michael Spencer describes his work at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Michael Spencer talks about his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Michael Spencer talks about his time as a professor at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Michael Spencer talks about doing research at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Michael Spencer talks about his former students at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Michael Spencer describes his decision to leave Howard University to become a professor at Cornell University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Michael Spencer talks about his research at Cornell University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Michael Spencer talks about Widetronix, the company he cofounded

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Michael Spencer talks about the prospects of Widetronix

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Michael Spencer describes his publications and patents

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Michael Spencer reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Michael Spencer talks about STEM education in the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Michael Spencer describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Michael Spencer talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Michael Spencer talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Michael Spencer describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$5

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Michael Spencer describes his publications and patents
Michael Spencer describes the work environment at Bell Laboratories
Transcript
Tell us about some of your publications and would it be correct to generalize that you are publishing more at Cornell [University, Ithaca, New York] than you did at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.]?$$Yeah, I would say so. Certainly more in terms of numbers and also citations are higher, the number of citations are higher.$$Okay, that's when someone else uses your research?$$Yeah, when someone else--$$Cites what you're--$$--cites your work in their publication.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$All right. What are some of your papers and I want you to talk about some of your patents too.$$Well, we have on the patent side, we have of course in a small company you always--patents are more important. So we have some patents on ways of getting more power out of beta voltaic batteries or nuclear batteries. So power meaning power density and so that's one major area of patenting. In terms of publications, we have, we did a lot of work on using something called scanning probe microscopes to get information about semiconductors. So a scanning probe microscope is based on the material that is piezoelectric. Now piezoelectric means that if you apply electricity to this material it moves a very, very small distance. So in a scanning probe unit you have a little tip which is moved very small distances by these piezoelectric manipulators and as that tip comes close to the surface of the semiconductor it will experience a force and that force that it experiences can be measured. Now using that force and a lot of other things related to it we can make very nice measurements about some of the properties of the material. We can determine what are the electric fields that are coming from dislocations and other problems and so we use that, those techniques. It's called Kelvin probe microscopy to characterize a material. And we were some of the first to do that and so that publication has received a lot--those series of papers have received a lot of citations and that work was started when I came to Cornell. Some of the more recent graphene work in which we have demonstrated a way of actually producing suspended membranes of Graphene. So I told you that graphene is one atomic layer thick. Well we can actually make a membrane that is suspended in space bound on either side, it's suspended and this one atomic layer is literally in space. And so you can actually see right through it with an electronic microscope. And it's really quite amazing that you can actually, that one atomic layer of atoms will self-support but the other amazing thing is you can actually make useful devices out of this one atomic layer. You can put it into vibration and you can make lots of things. So this particular way of suspending the membranes has also you know been given a lot of attention. We're completing a paper now in which we have demonstrated for the first time producing graphene on another material called sapphire and we have studied and we plan on submitting this to the journal 'Nature.' I'm very excited about it. We have studied the way in which the potential of the substrate will actually align the graphene films so that paper has yet to be submitted but it will be soon. And I don't remember what all the things that I put down, one of the other papers I put down on there. I think I probably put down something about a measuring properties of aluminum nitride which we've talked about and we also--and then there was the initial work on grain boundaries which we're very proud of. And you know there, I think there are a number of other things but I think, you know I have over one hundred and twenty publications so I think that's a good--I think right now is a good place to stop. (Laughter).$$Okay.$Now what kind of projects were you working on at Bell Labs and well tell me something about the environment of Bell Labs and as a work environment and what projects were you working on?$$So at Bell Laboratories was divided into divisions or areas, Area 10, Area 20, Area 30, Area 40, Area 50--10 was basic science, 20 was applied engineering, that was my area, 40 I believe was transmission I think or switching. I can't recall all of them. But I was in Area 20 and we did power supplies. I was the only black engineer at Area 20 and my first--and Area 20 had several, a couple of laboratories. A laboratory is a fairly large group of, fairly large group and then departments, laboratory department then groups. So, first departmental meeting one of the technicians raises the question about affirmative action hires. I'm the only black face in the room. It must have been fifty people and were they qualified, something to that affect. Oh god, anyway you asked about--$$Well how was that handled? We can't just skip over that. Now what--?$$How was that handled?$$Yeah.$$It wasn't handled. The question just laid there as the department head sort of moved on and didn't answer.$$There were no affirmative action hires in your department right?$$Well the implication was that I was the affirmative action hire.$$Right, right, right, yeah.$$Being the only black in the room. And it wasn't handled.$$So, well go on. So what was that typical of the atmosphere there or was it--did it get better?$$Well it wasn't typical but it wasn't atypical either. I think you were--I think the way you have to view Bell Labs is it had managers who were both, who were angels, some were angels and others were devils and others were ambivalent.$$Hmm, okay just like in the rest of life I guess?$$Hmm?$$Just like everything else in life?$$Pretty much.$$Every other area.$$Yeah.$$Okay, all right. So I've heard people--now I'll put it like--I've heard people say the people we've interviewed within this month have talked about how Bell Labs had such a wonderful you know, what a wonderful place it was to work because of the way all the you know research scientists were treated and engineers for the most part, freedom to you know explore things and they had well, they were well equipped and they had you know there was a lot of freedom at Bell Labs to explore things and that sort--that's what we were told.$$Well yeah that's absolutely right. That's probably, there were three places in the country to work and Bell Labs was one of them. As an MTS, member of the technical staff, I, you know I had a signature authority of a thousand dollars on my own as I recall. We were more in applied division. In the research area, Area 10, even more flexibility on what to work with. Bell Labs was a monopoly that wasn't very well controlled at that time and so the labs were run on one percent of the profits of the Bell system which was a huge amount of money and they didn't have to worry about getting money so that was always there. So it was a tremendous place to work, wonderful work was done. It has never been duplicated. Again, I'm very proud of the fact that I'm an alumnus of Bell Labs in a technical sense and you meet other people who are alumni of Bell Labs and as I said it has, was not duplicated.

Ralph Etienne-Cummings

Electrical engineer, computer scientist and engineering professor Ralph Etienne-Cummings was born in August 20, 1967 in Mahe, Seychelles to Marguerita Etienne and Eddie Micock. His mother later married Herman Cummings, who formally adopted him. Etienne-Cummings first showed his aptitude for engineering when he fixed the reception on his short wave radio in order to listen to a soccer match. After attending a British boarding school, he moved to the United States with his family. Etienne-Cummings received his B.S. degree in physics from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1988. He went on to receive his M.S. in electrical engineering and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990 and 1994, respectively.

Shortly after receiving his Ph.D., Etienne-Cummings took a position as an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University. In 1998, he moved to Maryland where he began teaching as an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University. From 2002 to 2004, Etienne-Cummings taught at the University of Maryland, College Park as an associate professor while also holding the position of director at the Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering. In January 2004, he was appointed Associate Director for Education and Outreach of the ERC on Computer Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology at Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, Etienne-Cummings received a secondary appointment in computer science at Johns Hopkins University and in 2008, he became a professor of electrical and computer engineering. While at Johns Hopkins University, Etienne-Cummings sponsored a number of diversity and mentoring programs including serving as co-chair of the Diversity Committee and mentor of the school's Robotics Club. In addition to teaching, Etienne-Cummings served as a consultant engineer for several technology firms including Nova Sensors, Inc., Innovative Wireless Technologies, Singular Computing, Panasonic N. American & Corporation, Avago Technologies, Micron Technologies and others. His research interests include systems and algorithms for biologically inspired and low-power processing, biomorphic robots, applied neuroscience, neural prosthetics, and computer integrated surgical systems and technologies. He holds seven patents and has mentored over thirty-five students at the graduate level.

Etienne-Cummings has served as a visiting scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and as a visiting African scholar at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He received the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award in 1996 and the Young Investigators Program Award from the Office of Naval Research in 2000. In 2006, Science Spectrum awarded him its Trailblazer Award for Top Minorities in Science and in 2007, Etienne-Cummings was named a Kavli Frontiers in Science Fellow by the National Academies of Science. He has also won best paper awards in high impact technical Journals and Conferences. In 2012, he was elected Fellow of the IEEE for contribution in “Neuromorphic Sensory-Motor Circuits and Systems”. He is married to Shatima Etienne-Cummings, a patent attorney.

Ralph Etienne-Cummings was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 28, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.137

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/28/2012

Last Name

Etienne-Cummings

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Lincoln University

University of Pennsylvania

Seychelles College

Anse Etoile School

St. Augustine's College

First Name

Ralph

Birth City, State, Country

Mahe

HM ID

ETI01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Seychelles

Favorite Quote

Essentially.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

8/20/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

Seychelles

Favorite Food

Chicken Curry

Short Description

Electrical engineer, computer scientist, and engineering professor Ralph Etienne-Cummings (1967 - ) is a neuromorphic engineering expert developing biomorphic robots and neural prosthetics.

Employment

Southern Illinois University

Johns Hopkins University

University of Maryland, College Park

University of Cape Town

Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering

Favorite Color

White

Timing Pairs
0,0:3380,76:7090,161:9960,226:15770,354:23016,416:23421,422:31278,561:36440,599:39224,623:43310,700:67986,1077:68712,1096:74388,1260:75510,1284:75906,1291:78480,1347:83496,1463:84552,1488:94880,1588:97142,1626:101234,1683:101678,1690:101974,1695:102714,1718:107582,1786:111476,1819:112236,1832:118392,1996:130170,2116:130578,2123:134946,2182:135234,2187:139266,2293:147714,2429:148568,2470:149910,2491:151801,2577:152106,2610:167535,2827:173270,2876:173630,2881:174080,2887:202995,3166:203469,3173:204259,3191:209710,3351:225292,3526:226356,3541:231828,3626:232664,3638:245210,3771:251230,3879:252000,3897:253470,3931:255570,3974:256550,3983:256830,3988:258160,4022:264808,4065:272030,4196$0,0:2481,19:5451,90:8916,135:12084,170:12777,178:19710,259:27735,401:28710,416:46272,610:47078,626:58270,836:58550,841:59040,911:72118,1079:75465,1124:77949,1181:81192,1264:83124,1297:101186,1580:102077,1592:106290,1623:108581,1695:111978,1795:125985,1972:126510,1982:126960,1989:131010,2064:136790,2113:137659,2129:148719,2336:163465,2548:166240,2613:174920,2714:182600,2878:184760,2925:194389,3068:200472,3211:213686,3427:214026,3433:215862,3467:224514,3552:224879,3558:228529,3627:232179,3706:236997,3815:243859,3963:252367,4042:258529,4178:260267,4215:266034,4321:277148,4431:282548,4474:288310,4516:291622,4658:291982,4673:296302,4765:297094,4780:297598,4788:299182,4821:305248,4861:308732,4936:311964,4972:329960,5190:330500,5198:335360,5272:340968,5339:341280,5344:343620,5404:344556,5461:354248,5694:364289,5833:365384,5872:370210,5939:383810,6129
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ralph Etienne-Cummings' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his mother's growing up in the Seychelles

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about the people and the history of the Seychelles

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes the architecture, weather, and government of the Seychelles

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his mother's education and career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his relationship with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his step-father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his biological father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his adopted father, Herman Cummings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about race relations in the Seychelles

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his grades and his favorite teacher, Madame Moutia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about living and studying in the United Kingdom

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his involvement in track and field in the United Kingdom

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about graduating from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about life in New Orleans

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his decision to attend Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his experience at Lincoln University and his exposure to African American culture

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes personal computers and resources at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about the faculty and notable graduates of Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings discusses his physics research at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his activities and honors at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his doctoral research

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes how he met his wife and her work at GTE

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his work at Southern Illinois University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his work at the Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about the National Science Foundation's Career Award

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings discusses his research at Johns Hopkins University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his research on computer controlled locomotion in animals

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings discusses technology controlled by neural impulses

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his honors and awards

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes a typical day in his lab

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his students' work

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings discusses his current research on overt attention

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings shares his personal ambition

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his hopes for the future of robotics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about reactions to his work

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes the one change he would have made to his career path

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about the Seychelles Islands

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his time in South Africa and Australia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about living and studying in the United Kingdom
Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his research on computer controlled locomotion in animals
Transcript
So, okay, so in seventh grade, you moved to Britain?$$After seventh grade.$$After seventh grade.$$Yeah, that's when my, so, yeah, so that time, you know, it was becoming, you know, again, I was, like I'm saying, my mother was always keen on trying to get her children the best education she could. And it became obvious that I was not learning maybe as much as I should have, and I was, you know, I mean I was in a place where I was the star student, but, you know, I wasn't making any progress because, you know, the material was not up to what I was able to keep up with, put it that way. So at that time, they decided that, okay, they were gonna send me to school in the U.K. And what happened there was essentially I had to actually learn new material. So I, so I spent some time just kind of going through books to take their entrances exams to go to the school in the U.K. [United Kingdom]. These days there's, you know, I mean there was all these common, what's called common entrance exams.$$Was U.K. a culture shock?$$Yeah, but so here's the thing that's kind of interesting about, about folks from the Seychelles. I mean we spend, you know, I like to say we spend half of our lives trying to get off the island and the other half trying to get back, right. So you're always like excited about going, you know, abroad and going to different countries. So, yes, I was really keen to go to, you know, to the U.K., but then, of course, it was a big difference from what I'm used to. I mean it was cold, it was drafty (laughter), it was, you know, complete different set of rules, and, you know, less ability to just kind of do your own thing. But at the same time, I needed that structure, I think. I think I was becoming maybe too unruly for my own good (laughter) at that time.$$Okay, so you prepped first in the summer, I guess, before your eighth grade (unclear) (simultaneous).$$Yeah, I mean like you said, well, I work actually, so this was interesting because there was a teacher there at the Anse Etoile School, that was an Irish fellow that they had, you know, imported to teach in the new school system they had just constructed. So he had, and he was a math teacher, I remember. So he, basically, I worked with him a lot, you know, and just, you know, I would do problems in, you know, in this Algebra book or whatever book it was. And he would, he would correct them for me and would teach me new things and so on. So it was not so much that it was over the summer, it was more during the school year. But I just didn't do the same curriculum that other people were doing. I just, you know, I had my own set of books that was a little bit more advanced that I was following. Essentially, that's what it came down to. So it's personalized teaching, you know. It doesn't get any better than that (laughter).$$Okay, now what was the name of your first school in Britain?$$The name was St. Augustine's College.$$Okay, and where, where in Britain?$$So this is in Kent, England.$$In Kent, okay.$$Yeah, that's the county, but, yeah, Westgate is the town, but I don't know if it matters.$$Okay. All right. So now, was St. Augustine's better equipped than the school you had in Seychelles?$$Oh, absolutely, I mean definitely. I mean it was a modern school, you know, for all intents and purposes with, you know, with a science lab and computers, whatever that meant at that time, right? It was, you know, you're talking 1980, so computers were, you know, single machines, you know, and not so advanced as we have today. But, yeah, I mean and they were geared towards teaching children to get ready to go university or to go into the work force, right. So it was a very different modality of operation. And then at the end, the English system, and--which was I guess the same in the Seychelles system too, is that you are working towards these exams, called "O" levels and "A" levels, right, and these are national, or international exams that you work towards. And then you get graded against international students. So that's what we were working for. So the curriculum was very strongly geared towards making sure that you can perform well in these exams.$Okay, now, the, we have an illustration here of a cat with, who's wired up. And is this, this is a schematic of an experiment showing locomotion stimulated by a central pattern generator chip.$$Right.$$Okay, so can you explain this to you?$$Sure. So that's much later, so that's, I guess it's later, but it's a continuation of that same evolution of though, okay. So in the sense that we wanted to understand how does one control legged locomotion, right. So you can make that platform be a, a robotic platform, mechanical. And then you use a, you know, a model of what the spinal cord does, you know, in addition to the brain and everything, right. And you implement that on the robot and the robot can navigate the environment. All right, but more importantly, or at least more importantly, from a human perspective, you know, what happens if that robot was actually a person, all right? And a person that would need such control would be a person with spinal cord injuries, for example, right? So, let's say you are, you know, your spinal cord is severed. The lower part of your body it turns out is fine. The problem is that you cannot control it. You cannot get a signal from your brain to it. So what we wanted to understand there is how do you reactivate the lower part of the body, okay, in such a way that you can get somebody with spinal injuries to walk again, okay. So, so that's the, that kind of, that's the, that's the long-term goal. But you cannot go to human experiments directly. What we tend to do is we tend to look at different animal models that are as close, you know, to the extent that they can be close, to human as you can, as you can find, okay, and also, allow you to do the experiment, right. I mean I guess I could have, we could have done it in monkeys, but monkeys are really hard, okay. So, so cats is a very good model of the human locomotion. So what you see there is an example of, the first example, in fact, of a part of a spinal cord being implemented in a microchip, and then that being used to restore locomotion, restore walking in a paralyzed cat. This, you know, which the next transition of that is, can we do the same thing in a paralyzed human?$$So you could do it in a cat?$$Yeah, yeah. Yeah, with a cat, we've done it in a cat many times.$$Okay.$$The hard part is actually making the cat walk for a long time. You know, in terms of the--there are different ways that you can stimulate the nervous system of the cat to get 'em to walk, and some of them are, makes a cat tired fast. Some of them does not. And lately we've been, made a big breakthrough in getting--and when I say lately, I mean last November, where we had a cat walking for kilometers. The humans were getting tired before the cats were getting tired, you know, and this is all, you know, electrical.$$But is the cat controlling its own walking or is--$$No, no, we are. And this is, this is controlled in the sense that it's on a, it's on a tread, not a treadmill but a walkway. The cat is not free to move around yet 'cause that would require another leap in the technology.$$But is the--I'm sorry, I don't want to interrupt you, but I was just thinking. Is the cat deciding to walk itself or--$$No, no, no, no, it still--$$--are you all stimulating--$$We are stimulating him to walk. But, but the other thing about it is that the cat is actually fully, he's paralyzed only in the sense that he's anesthetized. He's not actually, physically paralyzed, right. So the cat is asleep, right?$$Oh.$$Okay, for these experiments, but we are about to embark on some experiments now that where the cat will be, you know, paralyzed too.$$That's what I was thinking at first that somehow you all found a good cat, paralyzed it and then (laughter)--$$No, no, we try--$$--made it walk.$$Right, no, we try to avoid that as much as possible for all these reasons, right. There are ethical reasons, you know.$$Yeah, ASPCA and all that.$$Yeah.$$But the cat is anesthetized, is actually asleep--$$Right.$$--but he's walking in spite of himself because you all are making him walk?$$Yes, we're able to stimulate his spinal cord in a particular way using, you know, chips that work the similar way as the spinal cord so that the cat then can put, left one leg, put it down, put the other one down and walk down the walkway as often as we want it to do.$$I was just thinking if you could make something that would stimulate a sleeping student to study--$$(Laughter). Yeah, well, I think that would seriously have ethical issues (laughter).$$--to study in spite of himself. But that's interesting, so--$$Yeah, so, so the biggest thing there is that, you know, ultimately, this technology can transfer to helping people with spinal cord injuries. And another aspect of the work that we do is also trying to decode the intent of the person, right. So when you put electrodes in the brain and that will read your mind, if you will, right. And because if you can do that, then you can link the thought process to the stimulation and then you can have the person control the entire thing, right. So that's kind of, you know, the evolution of the work.$$Okay, so that is feasible too because, I was thinking at one point, well, if you had, if a human had paralyzed legs and they wanted to walk, and they had the chip installed, and all that, they would be able to use a remote control instead of the (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$Yeah, exactly. That's the first step. That's a zero (unclear) step as well. You know, pun not intended, but that's the first, you know$$Step, yeah.$$(Laughter) --step in the thing, well, yeah, exactly. You push the button forward, and that would get you to go forward. You turn it to the left, and your leg would turn. So, yeah, that's what we're trying to do first. And then the next thing is, instead of you pushing a button, you just think it, and you go. And we have done that, we have done the thinking part for moving prosthetic limbs, arms, where you can decode the intent of a person to grab a, you know, a glass and, you know, and drink out of it and so on.

Andrea Lawrence

Computer scientist and computer science professor Andrea Lawrence was born in Asheville, North Carolina on October 6, 1946 to Jeanne Hayes and Emory Williams. Her family supported education and both of her parents finished college after she was born. Lawrence graduated from Allen High School in Ashville in 1964 and enrolled at Spelman College. She finished her undergraduate education at Purdue University earning her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1970. From 1979 to 1983, Lawrence taught mathematics in Cincinnati Public Schools before beginning her long career at Spelman College. She earned her M.S. degree in computer science from Atlanta University in 1985.

Having begun her career at Spelman as a lecturer and computer literacy coordinator, Lawrence was promoted to director of the computer science program in 1986. She held that position for three years before going back to school to pursue her doctorate. In 1993, Lawrence became the first African American to obtain her Ph.D. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in computer science. She then returned to Spelman as an assistant professor in computer science, and in 1994, she became chair of the computer and information sciences department. Lawrence was promoted to associate professor of computer science in 1995. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in programs to increase the number of minorities and woman involved in scientific disciplines, serving as president of the Association of Departments of Computer Science/Engineering at Minority Institutions (ADMI) and associate director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Scholars at Spelman College. Lawrence teaches a range of computer science classes including programming languages, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interactions. She also supervises projects on remote sensing in Antarctica, which uses satellites or aircraft to gather information about Antarctic ice. In addition to her teaching, Lawrence has published numerous papers for her research on human-computer interaction, including using computer animations to teach algorithms.

Lawrence has received several awards to date including the National Technical Association’s Technical Achiever of the Year Award in 2004. She was also named a Technology All-Star in 2005 by the National Women of Color (NWOC). Lawrence lives in Atlanta, Georgia and has three grown children, Deirdre, a scientific consultant, Allegra, an attorney and Valerie, a student.

Andrea Lawrence was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 17, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.071

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/19/2012

Last Name

Lawrence

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Williams

Schools

Allen High School

Spelman College

Purdue University

Clark Atlanta University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

Asheville

HM ID

LAW04

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Find a way or make one.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shellfish

Short Description

Computer science professor and computer scientist Andrea Lawrence (1946 - ) was chair of the computer and information sciences department at Spelman College from 1994-2009 and is currently as associate professor at Spelman. In 1993, she became the first African American to earn her Ph.D. degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Employment

Cincinnati Public Schools

Spelman College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrea Lawrence's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence describes her family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her mother's growing up in North Carolina and Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her father and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her early relationships with her parents and grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence shares her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her love of reading, starting at age four

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about the integration of Ashville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence remembers her introduction to computers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence discusses her relationship with her father after her parents' separation

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about the influence of her elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence remembers her days at Allen High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about traveling along with her father, uncle, and cousins

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence describes her interest about technology

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her coursework at Allen High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence describes meeting President Lyndon B. Johnson as a Presidential Scholar

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her role with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her coursework at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence describes how she met her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about living in West Lafayette, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her computer science classes at Purdue University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about reactions to the assassination of Dr. King

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her graduate work in computer science

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Dr. Etta Faulkner and her decision to pursue a Ph.D.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about computers and her mentor, Albert Bodder

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence discusses her difficulties she fared as a woman attending Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence discusses the state of teaching of computer science at HBCUs

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence describes her work with NASA Wives Scholars program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about how her writing skills helped her computer science

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her book and the psychology of computers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about computer literacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about cultural and gender bias in the computer science field

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Spelman College's future and her current research

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence shares her concerns about the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Andrea Lawrence reflects on her legacy and career

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her three daughters

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence reflects on her life and career

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Andrea Lawrence talks about Spelman College
Andrea Lawrence discusses her difficulties she fared as a woman attending Georgia Institute of Technology
Transcript
Okay. All right, so, okay, so in 1964, you start school at Spelman.$$I did.$$And how did you like Spelman[Spelman College]--$$Oh, I loved it.$$You already knew a lot about it.$$Right, I knew, and, right, because I had come down in the summers, and my mother was working. And I had, in fact, spent one summer mostly on the campus, living in--when she had a dorm room on the campus. They had faculty, female faculty housing at that point and male faculty housing. A lot of single faculty would live on campus for a couple of years. So I felt right at home. I knew the names of all the buildings because I found out as a child that if I could name all the buildings, people--when, say I was nine or so, people would be impressed and give me a nickel. And I could buy an ice cream cone in the snack shop. So I had learned all the buildings. And I moved into Packard Hall, which is no longer a dormitory. It's now administration. And I really had a great time. I joined the glee club. I was on the newspaper staff. I took a overload in classes most years. After the first semester, I took an overload, and I loved being here where you could, where there were dances and remember, I was just coming from an all-girls school that did not have a all-male school across the street. So, I said, "This is really nice." I can, you know, I don't have 'em in my classes, but they're right over there.$$Now, you took an overload of courses?$$Most time, after the first semester because I was trying to do two minors. So the average load was fifteen hours. I generally took eighteen.$$Okay, you're, you described yourself as a speedy reader?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$I mean not like the ones that come out of their courses that claim they can read, but I read very rapidly. I also type rapidly, which has been very handy. It came in very handy when I started writing those computer programs.$$Okay, okay, now were you exposed to computer science at Spelman?$$I was not. A few years later, they had computer science. The only computers I knew about were, as I said, the ones my mom used in the office, in the registrar's office, the Wang's and the, she brought me a computer. But that was later. No, I was not exposed at all. My first real exposure to computers was when we left Atlanta and went to West Lafayette, Indiana. I dropped out of school when we got married. And my, when my ex-husband finished Morehouse, he went to graduate school at Purdue.$$Okay, now, let's, moving very fast, back up and go back (laughter). We've got a lot of ground to cover.$$Okay, I was trying to figure out where the computers, when I ran into computers and like that.$$Yes, okay, so now I know.$$Okay, I'll hold--$Okay, all right, so 1993, you became an assistant professor here--let me ask you this before we get into teaching. What were some of the struggles that you had as a woman, you know, in computer science? Was there any problem with that at, here, even at Spelman?$$Not at Spelman.$$Okay. But at--$$At Georgia Tech.$$At Georgia Tech (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$At Georgia Tech [Georgia Institute of Technology], the percentage of women in the PhD program was very small. I would say less than 10 percent. So we knew, of course, all the women, other women, and I will have to say that they got, used to get together some times as a group and give each other support. They might have a brunch or something, give each other support. But it was difficult because many times, you would be in a class, and there wouldn't be any other women. And some of the men might not want you to be in their group. And you had to make groups or partner up. So they just really didn't wanna be partners with me. Now, whether that was because I was as old as their mothers or because I was African American or because I was a woman, it was hard to say. But I did find that. My best bet for getting a partner was to either find someone who has been sent back to school by some company or the Army, Armed Forces or another woman. So it was really a situation where if a woman--I'll give you an example. One of the women PhD students had a baby. And she was married to a male PhD student. And I heard someone say, they didn't know I heard them, well, she can't be serious about her degree or she wouldn't have had this baby. And I later heard someone say about one of the male students whose wife had had a baby, "Well, you know, we need to hurry up and get him out so he can get a job." And I know one of my friends who was asked to teach a course over here in the AU Center part time, was told that she shouldn't be doing it because she was taking away something that some man might need. So it was, and she was a single mother with a teenager. She really needed it. But perception was, as a woman, she shouldn't be taking the mouth out of the--the bread out of the mouth of the breadwinner, so to speak, taking the money away from the breadwinner.$$So were you involved in any efforts on the part of women to organize themselves against this kind of thing?$$We didn't really. Tech actually formed, offered us a support group through student services where we could get together. And those weren't all computer scientists. They were from different areas. And we got together once a week, and we would talk about situations and advise how to handle situations we ran into. The computer science women, as I said, sometimes would have meals and get together and encourage each other, but no formal organization.$$Okay, so, so at Spelman, now, you were already teaching at Spelman, right, while you were--$$Right, I was teaching math until I got the CS degree.$$Okay.$$'Cause I had enough graduate hours in math to, from getting a teaching certificate to be a, to be able to teach. But once I graduated with the Masters, then I started computer science.$$Okay, so you just moved right over to another--$$Seamlessly, yeah.$$Yeah, so they had a department, computer science department right here or--$$They had a computer science department by '93' [1993], but they did not have one in the late '80's [1980s] when I was working in the department. The, it was part of mathematics, the mathematics department. So they said we had to have, I think five faculty members and had finished the graduating class before we could become separate. And I believe, that happened under the auspices of Dr. Martin. While I was in grad school, he was able to bring the department out of mathematics and into a separate department.$$Okay. All right, oh, now what was your--I'm sorry. I didn't ask you what your dissertation was titled?$$Oh, it was "Empirical Studies of Using Algorithm Animations to Teach Algorithms. So I did, basically, it would look like little movies where I animated things going through a different processes on the computer. It might be putting things in order, sorting, or it might be some other process that you could carry out. Most of the ones I did were based on sorting. There're probably 12 ways to sort numbers, and the best one to choose depends on the problem and the computer you're using and the data. So in computer science, Algorithm courses, you teach several methods. So what my work was about was trying to figure out ways to teach these methods more effectively, and I created these algorithms. I did experiments at Georgia State and Georgia Tech with students to see which ones worked best for them. So that was, it was pretty interesting, especially, my final conclusion was that the animations were good, but they were only good as long as the students interacted with them. If they just watched them, this TV generation, it didn't really have an effect. They had to do something with it like choose the data to be sorted or choose the next step. They had to do something with it for it to be effective.$$Okay, we have to pause here again.

Katherine G. Johnson

Mathematician and computer scientist Katherine Johnson was born on August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to Joylette and Joshua Coleman. Her mother was a teacher and her father was a farmer and janitor. From a young age, Johnson enjoyed mathematics and could easily solve mathematical equations. Her father moved Johnson’s family to Institute, West Virginia, which was 125 miles away from the family home so that Johnson and her siblings could attend school. She attended West Virginia State High School and graduated from high school at age fourteen. Johnson received her B.S. degree in French and mathematics in 1932 from West Virginia State University (formerly West Virginia State College). At that time, Dr. W.W. Schiefflin Claytor, the third African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in mathematics, created a special course in analytic geometry specifically for Johnson. In 1940, she attended West Virginia University to obtain a graduate degree. Johnson was one of the first African Americans to enroll in the mathematics program. However, family issues kept her from completing the required courses.

After college, Johnson began teaching in elementary and high schools in Virginia and West Virginia. In 1953, she joined Langley Research Center (LaRC) as a research mathematician for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Johnson was assigned to the all-male flight research division. Her knowledge made her invaluable to her superiors and her assertiveness won her a spot in previously all-male meetings. NACA became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958. Upon leaving The Flight Mechanics Branch, Johnson went on to join the Spacecraft Controls Branch where she calculated the flight trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American to go into space in 1959. Johnson also verified the mathematics behind John Glenn’s orbit around the Earth in 1962 and calculated the flight trajectory for Apollo 11’s flight to the moon in 1969. She retired from NASA in 1986.

Johnson has been the recipient of NASA’s Lunar Spacecraft and Operation’s Group Achievement Award and NASA’s Apollo Group Achievement Award. She received the NASA Langely Research Center Special Achievement Award in 1971, 1980, 1984, 1985 and 1986. Johnson has co-authored twenty-six scientific papers and has a historically unique listing as a female co-author in a peer-reviewed NASA report. She also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the State University of New York in Farmingdale in 1998 and in 1999, was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by West Virginia State College. In 2006, Johnson was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from Capitol College of Laurel, Maryland. Johnson lives with her husband Lt. Colonel James A. Johnson in Hampton, Virginia and has three daughters Constance, Joylette and Kathy.

Katherine Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.017

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/6/2012

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G. Coleman

Occupation
Schools

West Virginia State High School

West Virginia State University

White Sulphur Elementary

Bethune Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Katherine

Birth City, State, Country

White Sulphur

HM ID

JOH38

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

West Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

For Pete's sake.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

8/26/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Computer scientist Katherine G. Johnson (1918 - ) worked for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for thirty-three years where she calculated the trajectory for John Glenn’s orbit in 1962 and the Apollo 11 flight in 1969.

Employment

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

None

DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Katherine Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Katherine Johnson describes her mother's history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Katherine Johnson describes her father's history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Katherine Johnson talks about White Sulphur Springs and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Katherine Johnson talks about her early childhood years

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Katherine Johnson describes her early school days at White Sulphur Grade School

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Katherine Johnson talks about her inquisitive nature and early education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Katherine Johnson remembers her favorite teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Katherine Johnson describes growing up during the Great Depression near West Virginia State University

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Katherine Johnson talks about some of the famous personalities that visited West Virginia State University High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Katherine Johnson talks about her brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Katherine Johnson remembers attending West Virginia State University High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Katherine Johnson describes the racial climate in Institute and Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Katherine Johnson describes her extracurricular activities in at West Virginia State High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Katherine Johnson talks about her introduction to aeronautics

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Katherine Johnson talks about her involvement with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Katherine Johnson talks about her mentor John F. Matthews

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Katherine Johnson talks about her early career and marriage to James Francis Gobel

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Katherine Johnson talks about her early work at NASA

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Katherine Johnson describes her experience as a black woman at NASA

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Katherine Johnson talks about Sputnik and the history of space flight (part 1)

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Katherine Johnson talks about Sputnik and the history of space flight (part 2)

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Katherine Johnson talks about her work computing flight trajectories for NASA

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Katherine Johnson talks about her marriage to Lieutenant Colonel James Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Katherine Johnson talks about her publications

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Katherine Johnson discusses other aspects of her work at NASA

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Katherine Johnson discusses the advent of computers and her work as a mathematician

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Katherine Johnson shares her greatest achievement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Katherine Johnson talks about the community of scientists at NASA

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Katherine Johnson shares her thoughts about the unique of her work

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Katherine Johnson shares her thoughts about current space travel

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Katherine Johnson talks about honors and interactions with other space professionals

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Katherine Johnson reflects on her career

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Katherine Johnson talks about other at African Americans at NASA

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Katherine Johnson talks about her daughters and her teaching philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Katherine Johnson shares her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Katherine Johnson talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Katherine Johnson describes her photos

William Lupton

Computer scientist William Lupton was born on May 26, 1941, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Central High School, graduating in 1959. That same year, Lupton joined the United States Navy and became a sailor, eventually becoming a U.S. Naval Flight Officer and attained the rank of Commander. He logged over 5,000 flight hours in his career and earned five Strike/Flight air medals for his combat cruises to Vietnam. In 1972, Lupton attended the Naval Postgraduate School in California where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science. In 1980, Lupton served as chairperson of the computer science department at the United States Naval Academy. While there, he designed one of the most innovative and complete computer science majors in the country.

In 1981, Lupton took a position as a Professor of Naval Science at Louisiana State University and while there, he earned his Ph.D. degree in expert database systems. Following his tenure at LSU in 1987, he joined the faculty at Jackson State University and chaired the computer science department from 1987 to 1991. In 1991, Morgan State University invited Lupton to chair its computer science department, where he presently serves. Since 2007, Lupton has been the principal investigator of Morgan State University’s Network Resources and Training Site in the Minority University-Space Interdisciplinary Network project which aims to inspire young minority scientists and engineers.

Lupton has been president of the Baltimore and National chapters of the National Technical Association and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was also the inaugural national president of the Association of the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering at Minority Institutions (ADMI). He has generated over $5 million in funding to improve science and science education.

Lupton is married to Monica McKinney and has three sons, Michael, Steven, and Scott Lupton.

William Lupton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 13, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.058

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/13/2010

Last Name

Lupton

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Bill

Schools

Naval Postgraduate School

Louisiana State University

Meade Elementary School

Vaux Junior High School

Central High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

LUP01

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Curacao Island

Favorite Quote

It Is Better To Have And Not Need Than To Need And Not Have.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

5/26/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hoagies

Short Description

Computer science professor and computer scientist William Lupton (1941 - ) was chairman of the computer science department at Morgan State University beginning in 1991.

Employment

Louisiana State University

Jackson State University

United States Naval Academy

Morgan State University

United States Navy

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Lupton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Lupton talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Lupton discusses how far back he can trace his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Lupton shares stories of his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Lupton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Lupton describes memories of growing up with his cousin

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Lupton shares his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Lupton recalls fixing his family's broken stereo

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Lupton reminisces about Christmas in his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Lupton reflects upon his family's connection to the Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Lupton describes his memories of attending school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Lupton recalls how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Lupton remembers some of his elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Lupton details his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Lupton recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Lupton describes the type of student he was

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Lupton recalls an emergency visit to the doctor as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Lupton explains how he developed a sense of critical thinking

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Lupton recalls some of his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Lupton explains the "Philadelphia Syndrome"

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Lupton remembers meeting a friend from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Lupton discusses his college aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Lupton describes his interest in math, computer science and in track as a youth

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Lupton considers the role of religion in his life

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Lupton describes his path from high school to the United States Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Lupton recalls his early United States Navy experiences and his plans to get an education

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Lupton discusses receiving an education through his career in the United States Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Lupton considers the number of African Americans in his United States Navy programs

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Lupton describes his Naval career path from the USS Forrestal to serving in the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Lupton describes receiving an education at the Naval Postgraduate School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Lupton describes the nature of his military activity as a pilot in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Lupton describes an incident landing at Da Nang, Vietnam, Part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Lupton describes an incident landing at Da Nang, Vietnam, Part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Lupton discusses his education at the Naval Postgraduate School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Lupton describes his experiences at the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Lupton discusses building the computer science department at the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Lupton describes the social atmosphere of the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Lupton tells of another landing incident aboard the USS Nimitz

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Lupton explains what happened to his aircraft aboard the USS Nimitz

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Lupton describes his career trajectory as a Professor of Naval Sciences at Louisiana State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Lupton shares some experiences from his service as a Professor of Naval Sciences

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Lupton describes the cultural differences between Louisiana State University and Southern University and A&M College

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Lupton describes his arrival at Jackson State University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Lupton describes his departure from Jackson State University and the reception of his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Lupton discusses his arrival at Morgan State University and his development of the computer science department

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Lupton discusses balancing his roles as researcher and department chair

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William Lupton discusses the National Technical Association

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William Lupton describes the importance of computer science

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William Lupton reflects on the progress being made in computer science

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Lupton discusses topics in the future of computer science

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Lupton discusses government funding in the field of computer science

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Lupton describes the decisions his faculty are faced with in the Department of Computer Science at Morgan State University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Lupton considers the importance of service in academia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Lupton reflects on the changing academic atmosphere of Morgan State University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Lupton discusses the things he enjoys about his job in computer science

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Lupton describes the awards he has received

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William Lupton talks about his sons

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William Lupton shares advice for a student interested in science

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - William Lupton explains why he would be a medical doctor if he was not doing computer science

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - William Lupton considers his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Lupton narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Lupton narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
William Lupton recalls fixing his family's broken stereo
William Lupton recalls an emergency visit to the doctor as a child
Transcript
Did you like to challenge your father?$$Not so much as challenge, but to verify (laughter), to verify. I know when stereos first came out, my dad bought us a stereo. And, oh, we loved it. We used to play it all the time. In fact, my favorite artist back then was a singer named Dakota Staton. You probably--most people never even heard of Dakota Staton, but she, she was a jazz singer; loved her. One day, the stereo broke, and I said, oh, wow. And I asked Dad [Clement M. Lupton] to fix it. Dad didn't have any money to fix it. His position was, you shouldn't have broke it in the first place (laughter). So I said, okay. One day when I got just tired of waiting, I took the stereo apart. My brother came in, and he said, what are you doing? I said, I'm fixing the stereo. He said, you'd better get that back together before Dad gets (laughter). Okay, he's gonna kill you. So, sure enough I found the piece that was broken on it, and I didn't have any way to replace it so I glued it and glued it and put some scotch tape on it and put it back together. The thing worked. Dad came home. The stereo was working. He noticed the music, but he didn't ask how it got repaired. So I never told him (laughter).$So what would you say was your earliest encounter with science?$$My earliest encounter with science was kind of an accident. We had--I don't know what had happened. We were in the house and either the hot water heater wasn't working or it had broken down or something. Anyhow, we had no hot water. And it was bath time so I was boiling some water on the stove and I was gonna pour it in the bathtub. And I recall when the water was boiling, I got some mits and I lifted this pot up off the stove, and I was gonna take it into the bathroom. And my brother came behind me and bumped me and I spilled the whole pot of boiling water on my chest which as I recall felt like ice cold. And I put the pot down and I was calling my mother [Mary Katherine Thomas Lupton], oh, oh, look what he did. And I was concerned about spilling the water on the floor. And then I took my shirt to pull it up to show my mother how wet it was, and I looked down, and I had no skin (laughter) to about my waist because it had all boiled off. My mother grabbed me and took me out the house and around to this hospital which is on the other side of the wall there that was Girard College [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. And this doctor was putting this salve and stuff on me, and I'm looking, saying what is this he's doing? And he was explaining what he was doing 'cause I was, between tears I was trying to listen to find out what he was doing because I was always conscious of what was happening to me. And I made the connection and said, hum, this guy's a doctor and I see what the doctor is doing, putting this salve, it looked like salve on me. And that was supposed to have some kind of reaction with the skin and the blood and the stuff and then he wrapped it. And I got to thinking about that, and I thought well,--$$About how old were you then?$$Oh, I guess I was about ten [years old], maybe eleven, somewhere around there.