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Lloyd Douglas

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2013.143

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/19/2013

Last Name

Douglas

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Evans

Schools

P.S. 25

Berriman Junior High School

Brooklyn Technical High School

City College of New York

Miami University

Boston University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Lloyd

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DOU05

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/5/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Greensboro

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Candy

Short Description

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

Employment

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of Nevada, Reno

National Science Foundation (NSF)

United States General Services Administration

United States Army Communications and Electronics Command

United States Navy Trident Command and Control System Maintenance Activity

United States Naval Underwater Systems Center

Dewey & Le Bouf, LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

8$10

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

Samuel Williamson

Atmospheric scientist Samuel P. Williamson was born on March 5, 1949, in Somerville, Tennessee to the late Julius Williamson, Jr. and Izoula Smith. He graduated from W.P. Ware High School in 1967. Williamson received his B.S. degree in mathematics from Tennessee State University in 1971 and his B.S. degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University in 1972. He went on to earn his M.A. degree in management from Webster University in 1976. From 1996 to 1997, Williamson was a visiting Executive Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he explored national security issues involving science, technology, and public policy.

In 1971, Williamson was hired as an elementary mathematics teacher in the Fayette County School System in Tennessee. Later in 1971, he began his atmospheric science career as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force’s Air Weather Service. In 1977, Williamson joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For more than twelve years, he was NOAA’s principal planner and ultimately the Director of the Joint System Program Office for the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) WSR-88D, Doppler Weather Radar System through the design, development and initial deployment of this first major joint program among three Federal departments—the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Transportation. Later, as a Senior Staff Associate for the National Science Foundation, Williamson enhanced science education. In his role as a senior advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, he helped shape the legislative agenda for science, space, and technology policy. In 1998, Williamson was appointed as the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research. As the Federal Coordinator, he is accountable to the U.S. Congress and the Office of Management and Budget for systematic coordination and cooperation among 15 Federal departments, independent agencies, and executive offices with meteorology programs or interests to ensure the Federal government provides the best possible weather information and user services to the Nation. Under his leadership, significant advances were made in the areas of aviation weather, space weather, wildland fire weather, weather information for surface transportation, advanced modeling and data assimilation, and tropical cyclone research and operations.

Williamson is a member of the American Meteorological Society, the Montgomery College Foundation Board, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the National Guard Association. He also serves on the Committee for the Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability (CENRS) of the National Science and Technology Council.

Williamson is a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award (2010), the NOAA Distinguished Career Award (2010), the NOAA Bronze Medal (1996), and the National Guard Association of the United States Garde Nationale Trophy (1993). In 2006, Williamson was elected as a Fellow of the African Scientific Institute.

Samuel P. Williamson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.142

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/22/2013

Last Name

Williamson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

P.

Schools

Harvard University

Webster University

North Carolina State University

Tennessee State University

Fayette Ware Comprehensive High School

Jefferson Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Samuel

Birth City, State, Country

Somerville

HM ID

WIL64

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Charleston, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Be the best that you can be

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/5/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Atmospheric scientist Samuel Williamson (1949 - ) was appointed as the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1998. In 2010, Williamson received the Presidential Rank Award and the NOAA Distinguished Career Award.

Employment

United States Department of Commerce

United States Air Force

Fayette County School System

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Samuel Williamson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson talks about his mother's education and her employment

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson describes his father's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson describes his father's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson talks about his father's personality and his education and his employment

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson talks about his father's employment

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson talks about his siblings

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

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson talks about his mother's education and his relationship with his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson talks about his father's service in World War II as a quartermaster on the Red Ball Express and his skill as a sharpshooter

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson talks about his parents' last years together

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson tells the story of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson tells the story of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Samuel Williamson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson talks about his mathematical skills

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Somerville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson talks about his teachers in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience in high school - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience in high school - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson describes his decision to attend Tennessee State University and receiving a scholarship to do so

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson talks about joining the U.S. Air Force ROTC at Tennessee State University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Samuel Williamson talks about getting married in 1970

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience at Tennessee State University the evening that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson describes the events on Tennessee State University's campus following Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson talks about his teachers at Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson talks about his career in the U.S/ Air Force, and well known football players who were at Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson talks about football player, Joe Gilliam

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson talks about athletes from Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson describes his decision to study meteorology at North Carolina State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience while studying meteorology at North Carolina State University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience with racism while trying to find housing near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience at Charleston Air Force Base

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson describes his decision to pursue his master's degree in management at Webster University's Air Force extension program

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson describes his contributions at the National Weather Service and as the principal planner of the NEXRAD Joint System Program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson talks about his mentors, Richard Hellgren and Colonel William Barney

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson describes his work as the deputy director of the NEXRAD Joint System Program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson talks about receiving the Presidential Rank Award in 2010

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson talks about retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson talks about radar technology for weather and airplane control, and explains the phenomenon of wind shear

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson talks about phase array radar

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Samuel Williamson shares his perspectives on the evolution of weather warning systems, and the need for infrastructure to sustain inclement weather

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson discusses the importance of improved weather warning systems and shelter infrastructure

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson discusses the need for better response to severe weather warnings and improved shelter infrastructure

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson explains why the United States is prone to tornadoes

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson describes his work in the area of atmospheric and environmental transport dispersion models

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson describes his contributions to improving traffic reports for increasing the safety of highway travel

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson describes his work on improving predictions of the development and impact of storms and hurricanes

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson talks about providing recommendations for better ways of dealing with wildfires in the western U.S.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson talks about his collaboration with federal agencies to monitor the impact of solar radiations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson reflects upon his career and his legacy - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson reflects upon his career and his legacy - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson reflects upon his career in the military and his experience as a Visiting Executive Fellow at Harvard University

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson reflects upon the mentoring that he received over the course of his career in the federal government

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson talks about his wife and his two children

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

7$5

DATitle
Samuel Williamson talks about his father's personality and his education and his employment
Samuel Williamson describes his contributions to improving traffic reports for increasing the safety of highway travel
Transcript
And so, he [Williamson's father, Julius Williamson, Jr.] was picked to do good; he was well known in the community, well respected, he promoted education, he was a family man, he always wanted--he was very spiritual, he was a deacon in the church where he actually grew up at. He became a deacon on the deacon board in 1950 and served fifty-four years on the deacon board where he retired in 2004. He passed the torch to my brother, whose name is Julius Williamson III. He also was chairman. I had already left, you know, I had my own career and so forth. So, but he was the one the community looked up to, my dad was well known and very respected. When people wanted things they came to him, if blacks wanted to borrow money from the bank his word was good enough, you know, up to a certain amount. So he helped people and he believed in helping people and I remember when I was a child, my dad had a lot of clothes and stuff that he had gotten, he was giving things away and my mom [Izoula Smith Williamson] said, "Let me look at it first before you give away everything." So that's just the way he was. I will tell you one other story, he drove a school bus and then there was a young man who every morning, you know, it was cold in the winter time and he would get on the bus with no coat. My day said, "Where's your coat?" He said he left it; there was some excuse he gave every day. As it turns out he didn't have a coat and so about the third day because it was so cold, the kid gets on the bus, my dad had gone to a store and bought a brand new coat and gave it to him. So I happened to meet this young man as he is now an adult and he was telling me about this story about what kind of heart my dad had. He just wanted to help people, he felt that he was in a position; it wasn't like we were out there sharecropping and have to worry about being evicted off our land because we had our own (unclear). So I think a lot of my drive came from my father, my mom was just loving, she just cared, she did everything, you know, for her children but my dad was the primary provider.$$Okay. Now did your dad get a chance to finish school?$$No he did not, my dad had about a fifth grade education. When he went into the [U.S.] Army, then of course as part of the schooling that he got in the Army, then once he came off of active duty in 1946 the VA had what you called the GI school, means that there was money that where you could go to the school and you could learn a trade. I think he really wanted to do his in farming. He had ideas about of becoming a large farmer; he wanted to become a big farmer, you know, a black farmer. And so he learned a lot about how to manage business and so forth. So when you add up his technical training he received once he came off active duty, I would say it probably equated to a GED equivalent to high school.$$So he went to school on the GI bill?$$They called it GI school at the time but it was really the GI bill (unclear).$$So is the GI school to help people in agriculture--?$$Agriculture, development but also there were other skills too. If you wanted to become plumbers, they were technicians. The Booker T. Washington era for what he promoted was technical training, you know, become technicians.$$Industrial (unclear).$$Industrial (unclear)--.$The next thing I did in this job [Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)], I think is very important here is you think about the number of people who are dying on the highways and byways we have about 7,000 people dying on the highways every year. We have about a half million people that are being injured on the highway that are caused by weather. You may have a pile-up caused by fog, or you may have a hundred car pile-ups because of smoke, or for haze or what have you. You may have a pile-up because of frozen or liquid precipitation or even snow or what have you. So what we've done here is we have what you call a national review of what our needs and priority are on where we should be focusing our attention on research and how--what do we do about the black ice problems on bridges. What can we do now to better mitigate that issue so that when you're traveling on these bridges you don't start slipping and sliding and then create a accident that kills yourself or you run into somebody else and it kills them. What can we do to mitigate the fog problems that we are experiencing that are causing these car pile-ups. So what I have done is with this national needs assessment is that, we started a whole train of events of things that people can do. One of the first things you hear when you turn the TV on in the morning time is that you get a weather report and you get a traffic report so what we are doing with that is we are sensitizing people that you are traveling to work and you want to know how the weather is going to impact your travel. That's what I started, I started all that. It got started on all the TV networks; the weather channel works hand in hand with me. That's saving lives if you are more sensitized on what is going on. Another important thing is if you are traveling on vacation we started a national number called 511, you know what 911 is when it comes to emergencies, you dial 511, have you ever dialed it before, you are going to get two things. One is that you are going to get information about road construction or road maintenance so that you have a sense now of where traffic is going to be slow on that artery. Second thing you are going to get is weather. So if you want to know how the weather is impacting your travel on interstate 81 or 66 or 40 or any of the main arteries that you are going to be traveling throughout and in the country then that's what we are giving you now. That's something that I started. The goal is to save lives and it was never done before, this is the first time that this has ever been done when I started this.

Sekazi Mtingwa

Research physicist and physics professor Sekazi K. Mtingwa was born on October 20, 1949 in Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving his B.S. degrees in physics and pure mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971, Mtingwa enrolled at Princeton University and graduated from there with his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in theoretical high energy physics in 1976. Mtingwa was awarded doctoral fellowships from the National Fellowships Fund and the Ford Foundation. Upon graduation, he was awarded post-doctoral fellowships and research assistantships at the University of Rochester, the University of Maryland at College Park, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab).

In 1981, Mtingwa joined Fermilab as a research physicist where he, along with James Bjorken, developed a theory of particle beam dynamics, “intrabeam scattering,” which standardized the performance limitations on a wide class of modern accelerators. Mtingwa also played an important role in the design and construction of two of the Antiproton Source accelerator systems at Fermilab that were used in the discovery of the top quark and other particles. During 1988-1991, Mtingwa joined the staff of Argonne National Laboratory where he performed research on a futuristic accelerator concept called wakefield acceleration. In 1991, Mtingwa joined the faculty at North Carolina A & T State University as Chair and Professor of physics. Mtingwa was named J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Physics at Morgan State University in 1997 and then returned to North Carolina A & T State University in 1999. He served as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor of Physics at MIT from 2001 to 2003. He joined the faculty at Harvard University in 2003, where he served as Visiting Professor of Physics for two years. Returning to MIT in 2006, Mtingwa was named Lead Physics Lecturer in the Concourse Program in the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education. He was also appointed as the Faculty Director of Academic Programs in the Office of Minority Education. In 2011, he became Principal Partner of Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC and he was appointed Senior Physics Consultant at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

In addition to his research activities, Mtingwa is involved in a number of national and international initiatives. He is a founder of the African Laser Centre (ALC) and was the principal author of the Strategy and Business Plan upon which the ALC is based. In 1977, Mtingwa was a co-founder of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and served as NSBP President from 1992 to 1994.

Mtingwa has been recognized by national and international organizations for his contributions to science. In 1996, he received the Outstanding Service Award for Contributions to the African American Physics Community from the National Society of Black Physicists. The National Council of Ghanaian Associations honored Mtingwa with the Science Education Award in 2007 for advancing science education among African peoples. Mtingwa was inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame in 1994, and he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2008.

Sekazi Mtingwa is married to W. Estella Johnson; they have two daughters.

Research physicist and physics professor Sekazi K. Mtingwa was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.076

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/6/2013

Last Name

Mtingwa

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Kauze

Occupation
Schools

Princeton University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Henry McNeal Turner High School

Alonzo F. Herndon Elementary

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sekazi

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

MTI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Stay yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/20/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hillsborough

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sea Bass (Mediterranean)

Short Description

Nuclear physicist Sekazi Mtingwa (1949 - ) contributed to the design and construction of the accelerator systems used in the discovery of the top quark at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Mtingwa is a founder of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, and he has made significant contributions to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Harvard University

North Carolina A&T State University

Morgan State University

Argonne National Laboratory

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

University of Rochester

University of Maryland, College Park

Favorite Color

Salmon

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sekazi Mtingwa's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his stepfather

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

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his schools

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes when he first decided to become a physicist

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his high school mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about transitioning from high school to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the formation of the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about why he chose physics as his field

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about Alexander Pushkin pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about Alexander Pushkin pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his time at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about changing his name

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes assisting in the establishment of a university in Tanzania

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes what he did after receiving his doctoral degree from Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his work at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa explains the Higgs boson, dark matter, and dark energy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the Harold Washington Campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes why he joined the group at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about being featured in several magazines

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in various African organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his physics research as an exchange scholar in the Soviet Union

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about racial prejudice in the field of physics

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the International Linear Collider

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his time as the Chair of the Physics Department at North Carolina A & T University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the African Laser Centre

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes how the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has changed since he was a student

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about visiting Russia for a nuclear waste disposal examination

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his awards and recognitions

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his study 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for Twenty-first Century Problems'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his involvement in President Barack Obama's campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about being the chair of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his visit to Tanzania

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement with organization that provide access to scientific instruments

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the African Physical Society

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his work on textbooks

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sekazi Mtingwa describes his study 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for Twenty-first Century Problems'
Transcript
Tell us about the beginnings of the black student union at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts]?$$Okay. So we had a group, maybe about ten students, who would get together informally to meet. And you have to understand that the context of that period, with the Vietnam War, protests going on all over the place, you know, the Black Liberation Movement was in full swing. So, some of us, you know, were a part of that type of way of thinking, and we wanted to try to move MIT ahead. So we formed around 1968, probably the fall of '68 [1968]. The first co-chairs were Shirley Jackson, and I think The HistoryMakers did an interview of her. She's now president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [Troy, New York]. And James Turner, who was a graduate student--in fact, at that time, they were both graduate students. Shirley was three years ahead of me. So my sophomore year, she was a first-year graduate student. James Turner, I think he must have been about a third or fourth-year graduate student in physics; they were both in physics. And James Turner actually most--he went on to become a top official at the Department of Energy, and most recently, I think, he's been at the Department of Commerce. But he had quite a career at the top levels of federal government. But, yeah, we basically met and we decided, "Hey let's just do this." And so we formed. And we tried to--one of the biggest initiatives was to get more black students into MIT. So we worked hard on that. And so, at the end of my sophomore year going into the junior year, that entering class went from the typical five-ish to fifty-three. And so the numbers have been big ever since. And, in fact, to this day MIT, again, admits only out of a thousand, eleven hundred students; about 20 percent of those are African Americans; and another 20 percent or so are Latino-Americans. So that we've (simultaneous)--$$(Unclear)--$$--come a long ways. Yeah. But it's interesting. One of the interesting things that helped the African American presence is the students who are immigrants or who are children of African Caribbean immigrants, because that's one thing that you note from the names when you meet many of the students. So that has really helped us intellectually. The black community in this country intellectually has been tremendously enhanced by immigrant students. They come here with a parent wanting a better life for their children, and so they come with that, you know, "Go to college, get your degree," and all that. And you can see the pay off. I don't think we could hit 20 percent of the students, African American students, if we didn't have the immigrants.$$They have a good observation.$$Yeah. It's a great thing. I tend to be a Pan-African, is to me, whether you're from the Caribbean, the continental of the U.S., we're all African peoples.$$Is this something you learned at home or something that you--$$No. I got so much at home, but just as I developed as a graduate student--really as a graduate student, I really became, you know, convinced that, you know, we're all the same. And then having traveled to Africa, you know, so many times. I think that the way people colonize, it's just--it's very similar to--the stories you hear are very similar to the stories of people like me out of Jim Crow South.$$Okay. Just in a different location.$$Just in a different location.$$Similar situations.$$Similar situations, yeah. Yeah.$$And--now. All right. So, the BSU [black student union] really made some gains (unclear).$$Oh, yeah. Definitely. Definitely.$$And I know it still exists actually.$$It still exists. It still exists.$$Shot a picture of it when I was there (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, you did? All right. That was great.$$--I was walking down the hallway and I saw it. And I said, "Oh, this is the famous BSU at MIT." And I thought--I shot it on my phone (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, really. Okay.$$--as to--yeah.$$(unclear), you know, it's still alive and well.$$Yeah. Yeah. So many of the people we met were a part--$$It was a part of that, yes.$Now, you were on the Nuc-- the 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce.'$$Okay, yeah. So that was a study I did because I'm--we have a real problem with training, you know, the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers. And at one point, the Department of Energy, DOE, was cutting back funding the university programs, so I was concerned. You know, if you start cutting back, who is going to operate? Who's going to design the next generation of nuclear reactors if the people are not being educated? So we did this study, and we pointed out to them, you know, how many people are graduating, how much money is going into the university programs. And this report turned out to be extremely important in convincing DOE to turn its attitude around toward university education. And so since this report, their 20 percent of the nuclear fuel--Research and Development Budget--nuclear fuel cycle, Research and Development Budget is going to universities. So, I mean, that's like a big flip from not wanting to give in until now, 20 percent of your funding is going to universities. And that's important. Most of the money goes to the National Laboratories to work on the big problems of nuclear waste storage and so forth. But you need to have university professors and students working on new ideas. You know, turn them loose and let them dream and pursue blue-sky research, because you don't know what major revolution they may start up; what major breakthrough. And so that was the point of that whole story, to try to get more money going to universities to promote students and new ideas.

Warren Buck

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2013.084

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2013

Last Name

Buck

Maker Category
Middle Name

Wesley

Occupation
Schools

Spingarn STAY High School

Lincoln University

Morgan State University

Johns Hopkins University

The College of William & Mary

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Warren

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BUC01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Juan Islands

Favorite Quote

Everything will change. Nothing's permanent.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

2/16/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili (Green)

Short Description

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

Employment

Science and Technology Program

University of Washington, Bothell

University of Washington, Seattle

Hampton University

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (CEBAF)

Gutenberg University

Morehouse College

Michigan State University

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center

College of William and Mary

University of Paris

State University of New York

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Bowie State University

John Hopkins University

Favorite Color

Cerulean Blue, Burnt Umber

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

2$9

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

James Donaldson

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2013.087

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/28/2013

Last Name

Donaldson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Ashley

Occupation
Schools

Jeslamb School

Madison County Training School

Lincoln University

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Madison County

HM ID

DON03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I'm still kickin'.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/17/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Mathematician James Donaldson (1941 - ) served as the chairman of the the Howard University Department of Mathematics where he established the first Ph.D. degree-granting mathematics program at a Historically Black College and University

Employment

Howard University

Lincoln University

University of New Mexico

University of Illinois, Chicago

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Donaldson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Donaldson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his mother and her family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Donaldson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about his father and his work on his family's farm

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his parents getting married in the early 1920s

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about his parents' and his Uncle Enoch's influence on his upbringing and his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Donaldson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Donaldson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Donaldson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about the quality of his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about Jeslamb School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about his teachers at Jeslamb School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about listening to the radio while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his teachers and his academic performance in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about his pre-college counseling, graduating from high school, and his father's death

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about his teacher, Mr. Scott, and his interest in working as an electrician

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his visit to Washington, D.C. during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about being hazed upon his arrival at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about his preparation for college and his academic performance there

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his clumsiness in the science lab and his decision to major in mathematics

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his math studies, his professors, and his peers at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about his decision to pursue graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about his problems with finding a place to stay upon his initial arrival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about African American mathematicians and his peers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Donaldson explains the concept of differential equations

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Donaldson describes an example of a differential equation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about mathematical problems

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his Ph.D. advisor, Ray Langebartel, and his teacher, Professor Dube

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his struggles in graduate school and the nature of research in mathematics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about his experience working at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's (UIUC) Computer Center

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about his experience working at Howard University during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his colleagues and his experience working at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about the Annual Meeting of the American Mathematics Society

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about his memories of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and his participation in anti-war protesting

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his decision to leave the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about his postdoctoral research at the University of New Mexico

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about returning to Howard University and publishing in the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about being a founding member of the Association for Women in Mathematics

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about the development of Howard University's doctoral program in mathematics

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about the supporters of Howard University's graduate program expansion efforts

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about balancing his responsibilities as chair with his research activities

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about his mathematical teaching philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Donaldson explains a Cauchy problem as a differential equation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about his organizational affiliations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about the attendees of the First Pan African Congress of Mathematicians

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about his professional activities - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his experience in Italy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about his professional activities - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Donaldson talks about Abdulalim Shabazz

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Donaldson talks about becoming acting president of Lincoln University and receiving a traveling award from the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about Patrick Swygert's role in his appointment as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James Donaldson talks about becoming the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Donaldson talks about his educational initiatives for Howard University - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Donaldson talks about his educational initiatives for Howard University - part two

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James Donaldson talks about his colleague, Jeff Donaldson, and his involvement in developing the Afro-American Studies program

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - James Donaldson talks about Elbert F. Cox and the importance of scientists knowing the history of their field

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - James Donaldson talks about his research interests, and the integration of mathematics and the life sciences

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - James Donaldson reflects upon how he treated his students when he first started teaching

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - James Donaldson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - James Donaldson talks about his views on research

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - James Donaldson shares his hopes for mathematical-related fields

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - James Donaldson talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - James Donaldson talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
James Donaldson talks about his clumsiness in the science lab and his decision to major in mathematics
James Donaldson talks about the development of Howard University's doctoral program in mathematics
Transcript
Now what did you decide to major in when you first got to Lincoln [University]?$$Well when I first went to Lincoln, I was not sure; I thought that I was going to do pre-medicine because I'd heard people talk about pre-medicine but when I went to the biology class and they had--as part of the experiments you had to do was to dissect this frog that had been preserved in formaldehyde. I decided, you know, that there had to be something else, so I just sort of went--I went and changed that and so I looked at engineering for a while because they had this cooperative agreement with--I wanna say Lehigh University [Bethlehem, Pennsylvania]--no, Lafayette College in [Easton] Pennsylvania. Lincoln had a cooperative agreement so you do three years at Lincoln, two years at Lafayette, and you get a degree in engineering and a degree in liberal arts. And so I was interested in engineering so I did that for about a semester but that didn't work out well and again, it was the laboratory thing that just fell down.$$What was the problem with the laboratory?$$Well, you had to go out on these field trips; you had to go out on these field trips and one Saturday morning--and I think I probably will remember this until the day I die--we had to go out and it had rained a lot the week before. On a Saturday, we had to go out to look at some rock stratifications along the Chesapeake Bay Canal that connects the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. It's up in Delaware; it's not too far from Lincoln, so just a bus trip; and we were supposed to go out and look at this and we went out there and--now my professor, Professor Rasmussen, really nice man, he was equipped; everything was equipped. He had on these rubber boots and all of this stuff and here I was out there, you know, with sneakers on and my classmates we were similarly equipped, and all of that mud and stuff we were sloshing around in. And so by the end of the day, everyone was tired and, you know, all wet and dirty, and I remember being so tired I saw this little small pool of water and ordinarily I would have tried to go around it or jump across it but I was just so tired I said I'm just gonna walk--I'm wet already, I might as well walk through this water. So I walked through this water and there was a hole, and I came up--water came up to my chest. So when they got me out of that, I knew then that my engineering days were over. So when I got back to the school, I went to see my advisor and told him "Well look, that's it with the engineering." And Professor Rasmussen tried to talk me out of it; he said "You know, you can do it, you can do it," but I just could not see that there was much of a career for me in that kind of area if that was what I had to do afterwards. Now of course if I had been dressed as he was, it probably wouldn't have been as bad. And so then Lincoln said "You've got to choose." They said "You've got to pick something." My better grades were in the sciences and mathematics and the chemistry again, I loved it. But the laboratory (laughter) just how I say it, the laboratory--did not know whether to put the water into the acid or the acid into the water. And the two--the operations do not commute. So one you get an explosion, you know. Thing say Pow!!! If you put the--$$So did you get it wrong, or did you--$$Oh, a couple of times I got it wrong (laughter). Put the water in the acid--Pow!! So I messed a couple of pair of pants; I only had about three or four pair, and that's all together so, you know, I just couldn't stay there, and I think the chemistry professor was a really good guy--Professor Rudd. I think he sort of agreed that I made the right decision (laughter). He agreed I made the right decision. So I went into mathematics which I say "Well this is what I choose as a major," but didn't know whether I was gonna work in it or not but I decided to choose that as a major because I had to choose something.$So at Howard University--Professor of Mathematics at Howard. Had they planned--well, when you got to Howard, did they--how soon was it before a plan was developed to create a PhD in Mathematics at Howard?$$I guess I got it--I arrived at Howard in 1971. In 1972, I was appointed, you know, Chair of the Mathematics Department and it was around that time that the president of the University, James E. Cheek, talked about expanding, you know, the graduate offerings, you know, in mathematics here. And so it was shortly after 1972--around probably 1973, I have one of the earl proposals--draft proposal, you know, for the doctorate, and I think that's 1973.$$Okay. Alright. So you came back, or you were invited back to Howard basically by a new administration, right?$$By a new administration, right.$$James E. Cheek.$$James Cheek, right.$$Okay. And he took over from James Nabrit.$$Right.$$So some of the things that you did at Howard since you came here, you developed both short-range and long-range programs for the Math Department, right? Strengthened the Mathematics Department faculty, wrote a proposal to offer PhD program; that's in '73 [1973], right?$$Right.$$And (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--It was around '73 [1973]; I'm not really sure. Seventy-three [1973], '72 [1972], '73 [1973], around there, but I think it was '73 [1973].$$Okay. And what was the university's thinking? That Howard was not really--had not really fulfilled its potential in mathematics before, or what?$$Well no, I think it was the vision of President Cheek, and he felt that, you know, that a first-rate university should have a strong mathematics program. I know that he was a visionary in that sense so I--but not only that, but in the other sciences as well. But physics and chemistry already had doctorates in mathematics, you know, at the time--physics and chemistry. In fact, chemistry was first and then I think shortly after that, there was physics.$$Okay.$$So it was just the president--it was part of the president's vision.$$Alright, so what did establishing a PhD program entail? What did you have to do?$$Well, first of all, as all new programs are concerned, there is a process that one has to go through involving getting the approvals at different levels. First, the graduate school; well, the graduate school has to approve the proposal, and then once that is done, getting the support from the different administrative offices, you know, at the university. But in our case, it was easier in the sense that the dean of the graduate school, this was Edward Hawthorne, the dean of the graduate school, was supportive of the program and of course the main support was from the president of the university.

Albert Stewart

Chemist and chemistry professor Albert C. Stewart was born on November 25, 1919. Stewart received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1942. He was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1945 and was among a select group of African American sea men trained as officers. Following his tour of duty, Stewart returned to the United States and enrolled at the University of Chicago. In 1948, he received his M.S. degree in chemistry; and, in 1949, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Navy. Stewart earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from St. Louis University in 1951.

From 1949 to 1963, Stewart held teaching appointments at St. Louis University, Knoxville College, and John Carroll University where he taught chemistry and physics. In 1951, Stewart began his thirty-three year long career at Union Carbide Corporation as a senior chemist in the nuclear division. In 1960, Stewart became the assistant director of research and held several leadership positions until his departure in 1984. He was appointed as an associate professor and named as the associate dean in the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University. From 1987 until 1989, Stewart served as the acting dean and remained as an associate professor of marketing. In 1999, he became Professor Emeritus at Western Connecticut State University.

In 1966, Stewart received the University of Chicago Alumni Citation Award. Stewart is a member of a number of professional and academic societies, including the Radiation Research Society, the American Marketing Association, and the American Chemical Society where he is an emeritus member. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. He has also served as an advisor, consultant and on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including U.S. Department of Commerce, NASA, and the Urban League, respectively.

Albert C. Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 9, 2013.

Stewart passed away on October 13, 2016.

Accession Number

A2013.059

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/9/2013

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Saint Louis University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Albert

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

STE15

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caneel Bay Plantation, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

11/25/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

10/13/2016

Short Description

Chemist and military officer Albert Stewart (1919 - 2016 ) is Professor Emeritus at Western Connecticut State University and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served from 1944-1956.

Employment

St. Louis University

Knoxville College

John Carroll University

Western Connecticut State University

Kanthal Corp.

Executive Register, Inc.

Execom

Foundation for Social Justice in South Africa

Union Carbide Corporation

United States Naval Reserve

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Albert Stewart's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about her mother's growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's growing up in Maryland and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about his parents eloping, their life in Detroit, Michigan and their decision to move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's employment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's employment at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Albert Stewart talks about getting a job as a resin researcher at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, Illinois, and being drafted for World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about his parents' homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about receiving a double promotion in elementary school, and graduating early from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about growing up in the West Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago and White City amusement park

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about the Chicago American Giants baseball team and attending their baseball games on Sundays

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about African Americans moving to Chicago from the South, and his father's job as a carpenter who remodeled homes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about attending baseball games in Chicago, and recalls Prohibition in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Albert Stewart talks about his childhood jobs as a milk delivery boy and as a newspaper delivery boy for the 'Chicago defender'

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Albert Stewart describes his experience in elementary school and his interest in math and spelling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience in school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about the racial division in school and in the city of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his interest in chemistry and the schools for the black students in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about graduating from high school, attending Wilson Junior College, and working on the railroad

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes how he decided to attend the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about walking to the University of Chicago every day from his parents' home

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about working to support his education at the University of Chicago, and the help that he received from the Rotary Club

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart describes his experience while working at Sherwin-Williams

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his draft to the U.S. Navy during World War II, and attending boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his mother wanting him to play the saxophone and his parents' skepticism of his prospects as a scientist

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes how he got commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1945 - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart describes how he got commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1945 - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart describes his assignment and experience on a U.S. Navy fleet oiler towards the end of World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience aboard a U.S. Navy fleet oiler in China and Japan, and going into inactive duty

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about how he became a research assistant at St. Louis University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about getting married

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his master's degree research on vacuum systems and getting a job as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes his experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about the racial climate in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the 1950s, and how it affected him and his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the racial politics there, and how he was hired at Union Carbide Company

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about his Ph.D. dissertation research in boron chemistry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at National Carbon Company in the 1950s

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about his getting promoted to the marketing department at National Carbon Company

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his patents

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience in the marketing department at Union Carbide Company

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart talks about his services as a National Sales Manager and director of University Relations for Union Carbide Company in 1980

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about teaching at Western Connecticut State University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about serving as the vice president of the Foundation for Social Justice in South Africa, and his international travels

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Albert Stewart talks about his experience at National Carbon Company in the 1950s
Albert Stewart talks about the racial division in school and in the city of Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
Okay, all right. So 1956.$$Six, yes.$$You're on your way to Cleveland to--now you're going to Cleveland to work with Union Carbide [Company]?$$National Carbon [Company].$$National Carbon?$$Yeah. And that was--they were connected to Ever Ready Battery Company too.$$Okay. All right, well tell us what happened in Cleveland?$$Hmm?$$Tell us about Cleveland?$$Well I started radiation chemistry there and had, got a radiation source like the one we had down in Oak Ridge and did all sorts of experiments but my main function was to be a group leader. And I hired, got some people from Oak Ridge, I mean from, not Oak Ridge, from St. Louis University and others and did a variety of experiments that were not classified but Union Carbide property. And things were going great there until Carbide decided to split up and split up some things. They sold the Ever Ready Battery Company and gave me a promotion to New York City. Well they promoted me and the laboratory they were going to send me to was in Niagara Falls, but they decided instead to send me to New York City. And when did Kennedy [John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, 35th President of the United States] get assassinated?$$Nineteen sixty-three.$$Nineteen--?$$--sixty-three.$$--sixty three?$$Yes sir.$$I was in New York trying to decide what sort of research we were going to do and I had just been to the library and was walking down the street in Manhattan and I heard this report. I had an interesting time because, in New York City because they wanted me to, when I was looking for an apartment, the real estate people wanted me to move to Harlem. And--because we're now in a desegregation period, I said uh-uh, served my time there. We're desegregating communities, want to move to Manhattan. So they wanted to send me to a plant that, oh the aluminum--Alcoa was building in, near Harlem and I wouldn't go there. And finally ended up in a place where I could walk to work. So I started walking to work--$$So where was that in New York? Where was, this is--?$$On the west side.$$Okay.$$West 65th Street.$$Okay.$$But that was an adventure in itself because then we ended up deciding that we wanted to buy something and well, I worked in Chicago. I mean, Chicago--worked in Manhattan and they had changes. And I got promoted again to--out of science into a marketing department.$So did you run for a class office or anything like that or--?$$No, I didn't. In fact, we hardly, the black kids hardly talked to the white kids. At the, at Englewood [High School, Chicago, Illinois], remember there was little money around. There was a White Castle on 63rd Street and you got a hamburger--I remember they used to have a hamburger sales thing and you could get five hamburgers for some cheap price, I forget what it was. But I'd do that. But mainly instead of going to the school cafeteria on one side of the school nearest the South--the Wentworth and South Park side, there was a guy who rented a build--apartment that had food for the black students. And there was a guy who made fried pies. He sold fried pies and such stuff to the black kids. Well the black kids didn't go to the--there was another white guy who had also a store and so the kid, white kids who didn't have any money went to that instead of the cafeteria. And only rich kids went to the cafeteria. Pardon me. [Coughing] But there was no real association with the white students in Englewood. The black girls had started school in West, pardon me, in West Woodlawn. The professional people, the doctors, lawyers and so forth their daughters had school--had clubs. And they gave dances and the like at Bacon's Casino. And while the white kids were going to the Stevens Hotel and the blacks were not welcome. Blacks were not welcome in these big hotels and never on the North Side. When what's her name, the celebrated black woman who lived on the North Side, the television person.$$Oh god, you got me.$$You know of recent who bought--$$Oprah?$$Huh?$$Oprah Winfrey?$$Yeah, she was--I was so surprised when it turned out she was living on the north side because I always thought of that as a big division in Chicago. In fact, from, till 12th Street on the South Side, below 12th Street on the, in Chicago that was all white, nothing but.$$Okay.$$When you were growing up could you go past 63rd Street south? Did you go south of 63rd?$$Down 63rd Street?$$Yeah, did--no, did any black people live south of 63rd?$$Down--$$No.$$Below? No, 63rd Street was the dividing line. From 63rd to Washington Park was white between South Park and Cottage Grove. And that didn't turn over for quite a--never while I was growing up. And the big fight with West Woodlawn was the kids that lived at 58th and Calumet and over in there.$$Okay.

Matthew George

Biochemist Matthew George was born on February 15, 1949 in Birmingham, Alabama. George was awarded an undergraduate scholarship to attend Wiley College in Marshall, Texas where he received his B.S. degree in chemistry and biology in 1971. George went on to earn his M.S. degree in microbiology and biochemistry in 1974 from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). In 1982, George graduated with his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

From 1981 to 1984, George studied genetics and biochemistry at the San Diego Zoo and the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland. George’s career at Howard University College of Medicine began in 1984 when he became an assistant professor of biochemistry. In 1992, he was promoted to associate professor. George’s research focused on the evolution and interactions of mitochondrial DNA as well as cancer metastasis. He was instrumental in the development of the “mitochondrial Eve hypothesis,” which attempts to explain the origin of humankind. George studies the molecular structure and behavior of mitochondrial DNA which traced humans back to a common ancestor that lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Between 1995 and 1997, George served as senior scientist on the African Burial Ground Project where he traced 200 year old remains back to West African locations by analyzing DNA from bones. Since 2001, George has served as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Howard University College of Medicine.

George has authored numerous scientific research articles, which have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Molecular Biological Evolution. In addition, his research has been funded by prestigious organizations such as the National Institute of Health, the National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Human Genome Research. His research on mitochondrial DNA was featured in the exhibit “Science in American Life,” found in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. In addition to his research, George has mentored research students including several dissertation prize winners.

George lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Yolanda George, who is an education program director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

George Matthew was interviewed by The HsitoryMakers on January 17, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.013

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/17/2013

Last Name

George

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Wiley College

Clark Atlanta University

University of California, Berkeley

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Matthew

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

GEO02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France, Florence, Italy

Favorite Quote

Be good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/15/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie (Sweet Potato)

Short Description

Biochemist and geneticist Matthew George (1949 - ) served as the senior scientist on the African Burial Ground Project in New York City.

Employment

Atlanta University

University of California, Berkeley

San Diego Zoo

National Cancer Institute

Howard University

National Center for Human Genome Research

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
1308,0:3200,22:3716,39:5522,66:7156,96:8102,110:9134,128:9994,141:14640,201:14928,206:15936,222:16440,230:17016,243:20159,275:22334,309:25064,326:28260,402:31388,460:31932,469:32272,475:42751,574:46837,602:47232,608:47627,614:48417,627:51450,654:52122,662:54524,683:55226,699:55442,704:57717,724:58515,731:59180,737:61755,746:62800,760:65814,784:67062,806:67530,813:67920,820:68388,827:69168,841:69870,854:70260,863:71352,877:71820,884:73146,905:76720,914:83540,1027:86984,1079:97270,1214:97640,1220:103708,1395:104004,1400:105040,1421:113179,1493:114635,1519:125016,1644:129420,1688:131740,1722:138640,1785:142420,1842:142840,1847:146378,1873:147104,1887:149506,1910:149794,1915:150154,1921:151522,2001:160613,2084:161068,2090:161705,2099:162069,2104:165285,2114:169118,2151:169854,2159:171050,2177:174176,2198:176687,2267:177335,2276:177740,2282:178712,2305:181704,2325:182192,2335:183229,2356:189142,2499:189718,2510:192640,2549:193144,2562:195185,2587:196291,2609:199159,2628:199597,2660:200765,2679:201203,2687:204785,2706:205235,2714:205835,2724:206660,2783:207935,2800:215066,2918:215528,2928:216056,2937:217244,2958:221666,3078:227748,3115:228568,3126:235580,3215:236660,3249:237899,3266:240555,3378:242713,3393:250910,3440:255572,3578:264085,3686:264345,3692:266165,3737:266880,3752:267140,3757:272080,3876:272470,3883:273055,3893:273835,3913:278210,3951:281291,4032:284846,4093:285557,4103:285952,4109:294190,4214:294830,4223:295150,4228:302426,4312:303098,4321:305618,4367:306794,4382:321860,4451:326200,4532:326965,4539:330620,4626:337466,4669:339884,4711:340898,4722:341210,4727:342848,4759:343628,4773:347330,4827:350588,4879:351470,4904:356060,4921$0,0:6338,63:7076,73:8060,92:10110,130:10684,138:11176,145:12898,178:16424,233:26674,416:27904,437:28314,442:34800,486:40942,602:54558,936:59964,955:60887,975:61171,980:65644,1083:66283,1095:74668,1228:79192,1287:88864,1467:95560,1487:98853,1547:114446,1728:115440,1748:115795,1754:118990,1802:120978,1839:121333,1845:128047,1931:134455,2046:135345,2057:135790,2063:140114,2078:141574,2112:147487,2222:147925,2230:148655,2241:149093,2248:149677,2258:150991,2263:162810,2365:166294,2457:166838,2466:190490,2804:191820,2828:192100,2833:196160,2924:196440,2929:196930,2937:200570,3026:201060,3034:204490,3116:204770,3121:210502,3143:215586,3233:215996,3239:225115,3399:227590,3451:227890,3456:228415,3464:244689,3705:245045,3710:245579,3718:246380,3728:261304,3902:264406,3936:276681,4085:277178,4093:289532,4326:290100,4337:290668,4346:291307,4359:309766,4540:310756,4552:315565,4570:316925,4589:323215,4710:330780,4859:343208,4994:344948,5022:346514,5046:348950,5083:360224,5174:360928,5184:365064,5248:376000,5371
DAStories

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his mother, her growing up and his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his father's relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his father's growing up, his career, and his paternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about how his parents met and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his likeness to his parents and his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Matthew George describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Matthew George describes his childhood home in the Loveman's Village projects

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about growing up in the projects and his influence on his brothers and sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his childhood memories, his upbringing in the church, and the evolution of his religious views

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his appreciation of the newspaper and the bombing incidents in Birmingham during the Civil Rights Era

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his academic performance and his work ethic

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his elementary school teacher, Annie Mae Mitchell Smith

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his mother's concerns about the Civil Rights Movement and the origin of the derogatory term, "bama"

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about his childhood aspirations, his desire to be different, and his world view during his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his high school's curricular structure

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his experience being inducted into the National Honor Society in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his extracurricular activities and his social status in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his high school counselor, Ms. Coman, and her influence on his decision to attend Wiley College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his decision to major in science at Wiley College and preparing for his high school Salutatorian speech

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his influence on his brothers and sisters

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about his jobs during school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about segregation in Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his trip to Marshall, Texas and his first night at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his peers and the positive intellectual environment at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his decision to major in science and his experience at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his studies, his professors, and his financial aid at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his professors at Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about the faculty at Atlanta University and meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his wife and the birth of his son

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about him and his wife's experiences defending their theses

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about moving to California

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his admittance to and his financial aid at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about the difference between covert racism and overt racism

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about how he matched with his Ph.D. Advisor, Allan C. Wilson

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his advisor's research interests

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about mitochondrial DNA and the mitochondrial Eve

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his colleague, Rebecca Cann, and his experiences working with her

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his work with his doctoral advisor and his experience getting his dissertation completed

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his research with Oliver Ryder at the San Diego Zoo

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Matthew George describes his postdoctoral research at the National Cancer Institute, his appointment to Howard University, and his teaching influences

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his student, Daryl Basham, and the use of DNA fingerprinting in criminal investigation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about the ethics regarding genetic testing and the risks associated with modifying DNA sequencing

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his work on the African Burial Ground Project with Michael Blakey

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about working with his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about the challenges of doing research at an HBCU

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Matthew George reflects on his career

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Matthew George reflects on his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his experience at the Science and American Life exhibit and being recognized

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Matthew George describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Matthew George talks about his experience being inducted into the National Honor Society in high school
Matthew George talks about his work on the African Burial Ground Project with Michael Blakey
Transcript
Also, during the 11th grade, one of my friends she came to me and said "Something good is gonna happen to you today." "What the heck are you talking about?" So you know we have assembly, and where you have these (unclear) monthly meetings and everything, and so I'm there in assembly with a bunch of my other friends, and I'm looking at the program, it's--you think it's gonna be dumb and boring which most of them were, but that particular day it's about the National Honor Society and suddenly you hear your name (laughter).$$So you were on it but didn't know it.$$Had no clue, but she knew. And the other thing about it was that it was a lot of other project kids that were being inducted at the same time. So we had the middle class kids who normally, you know, get inducted, and then there was us. It almost like a little first; it was like we were like the project slash ghetto kids being culled in with the middle class--the kids from the Honeysuckle Circles and the Honeysuckle Hills.$$Now that's a real name of a real group?$$Honeysuckle Circle, Honeysuckle Hill, okay? That was the name of the neighborhood. If you had a couple of bucks, you could get you a nice brick house, you could be an upper-class black person and you lived it. Fred Shuttlesworth (laughter); that's when it got bombed (laughter), okay? (Simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--On Honeysuckle Hill?$$Yeah, or something like that. But here's the kicker, and Yolanda's gonna get me for this (laughter). "Don't call any names." I'm sorry, it's a part of my life. Reverend [John Wesley] Rice lived in the Honeysuckle Circles and the Honeysuckle Hills. And he was the high school counselor.$$And Reverend Rice is the father of our former Secretary of State?$$Condoleezza's daddy.$$Condoleezza, okay.$$Okay? And so here it is, we're more or less, you know, busting up the show because we may not be the right type of people (laughter), but they can't deny the numbers, you know. We got the GPA's, we got the grades and things like that, but never once--at least me, I don't know about the others, but during those three years in high school, I never was counseled by Reverend Rice about a possibility or an opportunity to go to college.$$So--well wait a minute; now you're saying that you're in a National Honor Society--$$Yes.$$--you clearly are working above the level of the general course (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--But again--$$--but (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--remember what--remember, from the very beginning what I was told by my mom [Rosetta Johnson] to do when I go to school, right? That was, that was my mind set. This is how naive, this is just how dutiful I was, this is what I do. This is what I--I followed orders, rules and regulations.$$And you were the first in your family to get that far because you're the oldest, right?$$Yeah, oh yeah.$$So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Yeah, I'm, I'm--every step I take you know, I'm breaking ground.$$Yeah, and I guess they're looking forward to just you graduating from high school, right?$$Exact--this is--they told me "All we can give you is a high school education. Everything else is on your own. This is why we cannot give you $35.00 for vocational school. We can make certain that you have enough food to eat, the lights on, heat is on, gas, all that kind of stuff. We will give you what you need. I will wash your clothes, I will iron your clothes, okay? You do the rest, okay?"$$But to think of Reverend Rice (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--I'm not trying to--$$(Simultaneous)--a counselor, I know you're not trying to do that, but if this is--I believe what you're saying that he didn't do it. If he didn't counsel you then, you know, he's missing an opportunity--I don't know if everybody with your qualifications didn't get counseled, but that seems like a really--that seems like something that really slipped by; a really important person that slipped past him that he should have helped.$$Well, like I said, it wasn't just me I mean--as I said, there were several other project kids that were also inducted at the time. It was the strangest honor society that they've ever had, you know. We weren't the best dressed, we weren't the most well-spoken or anything like that, but we were the kids that got the job done. We did well academically, and the rankings said this is where we belong, and once we got into the honor society for our high school, the whole set of dynamics changed, your know; it really changed. And we became little heroes, if you will, to all of the people that did not live in the Honeysuckle Circles and the Honeysuckle Hills; they were just like 'bout time, thank you guys, okay--and girls because it wasn't just guys, I mean there were some females that were inducted that year and they also didn't live in the right places. But as a little collective and as a group, they were so proud of us because we were them; we were them.$$Okay.$Now this is something that's really important for--in a lot of different ways in terms of a history project like I was in, is the African Burial Ground Project in New York City. Tell us--I guess you can just set it up by saying that construction workers discovered a gravesite--$$Emm hmm.$$--that was identified by archeologists, I guess, as an African burial ground--$$Right.$$--a place where Africans brought over here enslaved in New York City unloading boats and that sort of thing back in the 1600's I guess (simultaneous)--$$Yeah, today the bones are like--well we said 200 years old, so you can just extrapolate to, yeah.$$So the decision was to study those (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Well, right.$$(Simultaneous)--(Inaudible response).$$(Simultaneous)--Yeah, Michael Blakey, who used to be here in the Anthropology Department, was very much interested in that because, not only--by looking at the bones solely, you could look at--you could also tell about the work conditions, where the breaks occurred; is it on the clavicle, is it on the ribs, and things like that. Look in the clothing, what else is in the coffin gives you an idea what type of life these people led. The question then becomes well, where did these people come from? What is the origin of the skeletal remains? And so he wanted to have a genetic component to it, so from the anthropological part and sociological part, he was expert in that and he'd asked me to come on as a senior scientist to do the genetic part, so part of what I had wanted to do was to not only do that by using mitochondrial DNA because I knew how to isolate DNA from what we now call ancient materials--anything that's extinct or old--because you can do this technique called a Polymerase Chain Reaction so even minute amounts--you can put in specific little pieces of DNA to get large pieces of DNA back. Then you do DNA sequence and then you can see--compare what these sequences are closely related to in terms of different ethnic groups.$$What's that process called again?$$PCR, the Polymerase Chain Reaction. When that technique was developed, the person immediately got a Nobel Prize (laughter), okay? This is what gets people in trouble; this is your CSI. This is where your single strand of hair with a hair root and some DNA, this is what can be amplified to get--this is enough working material. Your DNA does not have to be purified; you put in the right set of primers, okay, that will actually allow you to amplify a specific set of sequences--that gold standard set of sequences, and they turn out to be yours, they got you. Lick a stamp, smoke a cigarette, wherever you get cells; this is why they say just rub the cheek cells, boom; break them open and DNA will spill out, get your probes in, and you're good. So I wanted to use that technique by using hair samples, so I just use--and you wanted--since the technique is so sensitive, you've got to make certain that your sample is not contaminated, to you have to test yourself, you have to test the workers around you to make certain that the sequences that you finally get back are those only from the bone. So I'd also wanted to mix in trained graduate students in Howard to use this technique and so it takes time when you're trying to get students who have little to no experience in a laboratory. So my end of the deal was a little bit slower than Michael would have like to see and this is where Rick Kittles came in; he's working solo, independent at NIH [National Institutes of Health] and everything like that; all he's doing is research. But that's beside the point; in the end, using the set of primers that I had for mitochondrial DNA and doing the DNA sequence, we were able to determine that the skeletal remains were from a region in West Africa, in a so-called Yoruba Tribe, and that worked out really well. And the other thing about grave sites like that is that, just as I told you early on about working for a dollar and a dime cutting grass in Elmwood Cemetery, slave graves were always kept separate from the white graves too, so that's another thing that made it useful in terms of like 'hey, what we're gonna find here is simply gonna be a slave or African origin,' and so that led the sociology and sociological part of anthropology as well, so then physical anthropologies, bones, the cultural parties, the social anthropology, so it's a huge team, large effort; and I think it paid off in a whole number of ways.$$Okay. So, you started this project in 1995--$$Emm hmm.$$--and I think it reached its conclusion with a publication of the findings (simultaneous)--$$Right, in 2009--$$(Simultaneous)--2009. Okay, that was a long time.$$Yeah, there was a lot of work. And you know, if you were to take a look on my book shelf, you could see--it was funded by the GSA, the government--what is it, the Government Services Administration?$$Emm hmm.$$Yeah. It was General Services Administration.$$Emm hmm.$$It was a tremendous number of people, and some things--there was some politics involved in it amongst us as scientists as well, so that probably added to it taking so long, and then plus with Michael transferring out to a school in Virginia. But Michael was a visionary and a strong advocate for this particular program, and I appreciate the time and effort that he spent, you know, in getting all of us involved in it.

James Curry

Mathematician James Curry was born in 1948 in Oakland, California. Curry became interested in mathematics at age twelve, after seeing fascinating symbols and equations in a physics book. He was determined to learn calculus and received a lot of support from his high school math teacher. Curry was also curious about computers after working with one that was donated to his high school. In 1976, Curry received with his B.S. degree in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. He also attended graduate school the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with his M.S. degree in mathematics in 1976 and his Ph.D. degree I mathematics in 1976.

Upon graduation, Curry was awarded consecutive postdoctoral fellowships to study the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. In 1981, Curry began scientific investigations with the CRAY High Performance Computing System. His research was supported with the Minority Research Initiation grant from the National Science Foundation. He investigated the role of computers in helping people to understand complicated topics like weather monitoring and mathematics theory. Curry’s research focused on developing ways to solve nonlinear equations using a computer. He worked with scientists who study the ocean and atmosphere, such as Warren Washington, and helped them to answer questions about their work using mathematics and computers. In 1990, Curry joined the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder as associate professor of applied mathematics. Curry was promoted to full professor of mathematics at the University of Colorado in 1991; and, in 2008, he was appointed associate director of the program in applied mathematics. Curry has also worked as a project officer at the National Science Foundation, where he managed the distribution of federal funding to programs from the Division of Mathematical Science, Applied Mathematics Division.

Curry’s seminal research with the CRAY supercomputer has been widely-published in academic journals including, Communications in Mathematical Physics and Communications in Applied Nonlinear Analysis. In addition to research and writing, Curry has contributed to STEM education via The Curriculum Project, which has been successful in addressing critical issues involving minority participation in mathematics.

James H. Curry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 16, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.033

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/16/2013

Last Name

Curry

Maker Category
Middle Name

Howard

Occupation
Schools

Oakland Technical High School

University of California, Berkeley

Cole Elementary School

Lowell Junior High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Oakland

HM ID

CUR04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Do more math.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

7/24/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Mathematician James Curry (1948 - ) pioneering CRAY Supercomputer analyst, served as associate director and professor of of applied mathematics at the University of Boulder, Colorado.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Curriculum Project

National Center for Atmospheric Research

University of Colorado at Boulder

National Science Foundation (NSF)

CRAY High Performance Computing Systems

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:636,9:932,14:1228,19:1968,30:3226,64:3966,75:4336,81:5520,101:6408,119:8332,152:8702,158:9442,170:9960,179:10922,195:12402,221:13734,245:14252,255:14622,261:14918,266:15436,275:16250,290:16842,300:17212,306:23541,350:23896,356:25103,376:25529,383:26026,391:27304,413:27730,422:28156,429:28653,437:29150,445:29647,453:30499,474:31067,483:31422,489:31706,494:35020,509:37960,559:38320,566:38620,572:38980,580:39280,586:39580,596:39880,602:40120,607:40660,617:41800,635:42160,642:42580,650:43000,659:45774,670:46006,675:46528,689:46818,695:47224,797:47514,803:47746,808:48326,816:48558,821:50131,831:50670,839:51132,846:52903,880:53827,899:56015,913:56840,926:57215,933:58865,954:59990,976:71420,1171:76540,1257:78060,1281:83130,1294:85223,1324:86406,1343:91260,1371:91758,1376:96655,1481:100334,1510:101558,1535:102062,1545:102638,1555:104582,1589:105086,1598:105806,1610:106454,1625:106958,1634:107390,1641:107822,1649:110710,1654:111658,1668:112448,1679:113554,1703:114107,1711:114897,1723:115371,1730:116319,1746:116635,1753:116951,1758:117504,1769:117978,1777:118768,1788:123180,1823:123840,1839:124302,1847:124830,1863:125358,1872:126018,1886:126282,1891:128206,1901:128458,1906:129088,1919:129781,1932:130159,1939:132175,1995:133309,2018:133750,2026:134317,2036:134569,2041:137575,2067:138552,2074:138840,2079:141240,2093:141590,2099:142990,2171:143830,2177:144110,2182:146010,2198$0,0:1050,18:2200,29:2890,42:7315,131:10990,182:13825,260:17906,277:38310,627:38806,632:39302,637:42368,653:42678,659:44786,701:45282,710:45964,729:46460,738:47018,749:47266,754:48506,773:51620,783:52010,789:60744,932:64206,954:67986,1008:70970,1035:71400,1041:73261,1066:75462,1103:75746,1108:81355,1193:90079,1281:91157,1297:91465,1302:92081,1316:92543,1323:93313,1335:93775,1342:94391,1352:95315,1365:96316,1375:100660,1397:101080,1403:101668,1411:106624,1499:107212,1507:108220,1523:111845,1543:114640,1581:118840,1667:121010,1695:121430,1702:122480,1717:127502,1749:128794,1766:131226,1810:132442,1831:132746,1836:133582,1854:135102,1877:135710,1886:136546,1904:137458,1919:148894,2072:149510,2081:149862,2086:150302,2092:150654,2097:157820,2139:158096,2144:164099,2257:164375,2262:164789,2270:172460,2326
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Curry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Curry lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Curry describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Curry talks about his parents' views about Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Curry talks about his mother's education and veiled family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Curry talks about his father's employment with Southern Pacific Railway

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Curry talks about his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Curry talks about his sister, Gloria Curry, and his school guidance counselor Edward L. Dry

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

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Curry describes growing up in West Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Curry describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his interest in math and science fiction

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Curry describes his interest in comic books, science fiction and math

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Curry describes his experience at Cole Elementary School and Lowell Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Curry describes his introduction to computers in the ninth grade

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Curry talks about his math teacher, Mary Perry Smith

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Curry talks about his mentors, Edward L. Dry and Mary Perry Smith

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about his mentors at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Curry describes his experience at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Curry describes his motivation to learn math

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Curry talks about Harry Morrison, Warren Washington and Jim Donaldson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Curry talks about prominent mathematicians at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Curry describes his decision to attend graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his interest in obtaining a Ph.D. degree at U.C. Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about William Lester and Robert Bragg

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Curry talks about his Ph.D. dissertation research

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Curry talks about his Ph.D. thesis on finite dimensional normal approximations to Boussinesq equations

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Curry describes his experience with the PDP-11 super mini-computer at U.C. Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Curry describes his experience in France

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Curry describes his experience at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Curry talks about his experiences at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his scientific collaboration with James Yorke

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about Ed Lorenz at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Curry describes his experience at the National Center of Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Curry talks about his research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Curry talks about Professor William King and Professor Charles Nilon

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Curry talks about the Cray-1 supercomputing system

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Curry talks his former and current students

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Curry talks about the Conference for African American Research in Mathematical Sciences [CAARMS]

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Curry talks about his career and his choices about family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Curry talks about his trips to Vietnam for work

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about his administrative roles at the University of Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Curry discusses the lack of African Americans pursuing academic careers in mathematics

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Curry describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James Curry reflects upon his family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - James Curry reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - James Curry talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
James Curry describes his interest in comic books, science fiction and math
James Curry describes his scientific collaboration with James Yorke
Transcript
Okay, we were just discussing these comic books.$$Yeah, we were discussing comic books, and Thor and Spiderman and the Fantastic Four, and all of those comic books. And just the richness of the language, I mean, I think really attracted me. I mean, you could play with the language. You could say funny things in the language. It was--yeah. So, comic books influenced my life. Science fiction influenced my life. I really enjoyed reading science fiction, and sort of dreaming about what could be. And during the '50s [1950s] in television, there were always these guys in white coats who would walk around on television, and I really thought that was cool. And then there was the whole Sputnik [first artificial satellite sent into orbit; launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957] thing that sort of just came, and science became important, and yeah, you could do something. I mean that was, the universe was open. That was--$$A lot of drama centered around scientists in those days--$$Oh yeah.$$--on television, 'The Twilight Zone'[American television series]--$$Yes.$$Doctors, mad doctors--$$(laughter) 'The Twilight Zone', Rod Serling, "Today we're about to enter the twilight zone." And just the way, I mean, the enunciation and the cadence. I mean I love that, I love that.$$So, you seem to have a really interesting focus on math, more so than most people I've ever talked to. I mean, you were actually, you know, trying to read math books as a kid.$$I read math books as a kid. I liked math. I liked the symbols. They were mysterious. And so, figuring out what the mystery was about, I mean, that was always sort of like wonderful and exciting. Literature, naaaah, but science fiction was really great. I loved that. Over time, I've come to appreciate literature, but I mean, it was the science and the science fiction. And I remember when I was in high school, I read parts of the biography of Albert Einstein, and I thought that was kind of cool. I mean, that was when I was at Oakland Technical High School [California]. And then I just sort of--Mary Perry Smith, Edward L. Dry [teachers who were influential in Curry's life]--I mean, they were motivators.$Okay. So, you're publishing works during this period, too, right? You published something with James Yorke. I don't have all of your publications here--$$(laughter).$$--but there some here that are highlighted from the website.$$Okay. So, here's the Yorke story. I gave a talk at the University of Maryland [College Park, Maryland] when I was at Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia]. And I was talking about my thesis work, the 14 Variable Model. And I met this guy named Jim Yorke. And Jim Yorke was an (unclear)--I mean, just very, very bright, very capable guy. And he, I mean, he gave his talk--I gave this talk. And then after being at Howard for a year, I went to the National Center. Well, the National Center had just gotten in a CRAY-1 computer, Model Number 14. And nobody was using it. And so, Jim Yorke and I were corresponding back and forth, and he said, "Oh, you ought to take a look at this map and run some computer experiments on it." And so since nobody was using this super computer, guess what? You could run 100 experiments on the super computer on this particular map. I mean, and by the way, solving a 14 variable differential equation takes time. Iterating the map takes almost no time. And so, guess what? You run this little map, and they also had this really nice output system where you could output things to microfilm. And so, I would produce forty frames, fifty frames. And then I'd send them off to Yorke. And Yorke got really excited because we were looking at--so, you take a circle and it has a particular structure. And you twist it, you shear it in a certain way. And by shearing it, you create periodic orbits, you create some dynamical structure. And Yorke wanted to figure out how a circle might break down. And so he ran the experiments. We did some work. We wrote a paper that appeared in Springer Lecture Notes, or something, and people thought, "Oh, that's really nice." Excuse me, I didn't think very much of it. I mean, it was, "Oh, yeah it's cool and Jim Yorke is cool." And then the next thing that happened was Michel Ano in France, he did some work on the Ano Map, or he created this new map. And David Ruelle was interested in that one, and so I could do some work on that. And so, I mean, it was, yeah, it was interesting.

Sylvia Bozeman

Mathematician Sylvia Bozeman was born in Camp Hill, Alabama in 1947. She was the third of five children to Horace T., Sr. and Robbie Jones. Although her father worked with numbers daily in his profession as an insurance agent, it was her mother, a housewife, who first cultivated Bozeman’s love for mathematics. In 1964, Bozeman graduated valedictorian of Edward Bell High School in Camp Hill, and in the fall enrolled at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, AL. Bozeman graduated from Alabama A&M University 1968 with her B.S. degree in mathematics. She went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics, from Vanderbilt University in 1971 and Emory University (Atlanta) in 1980, respectively. The areas of her research and publications have included operator theory in functional analysis, projects in image processing, and efforts to enhance the success of groups currently underrepresented in mathematics.

Upon graduation, Bozeman worked for one year as an instructor of mathematics at Tennessee State University, and then joined the faculty in the Mathematics Department at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She began as an instructor in 1972, became assistant professor in 1980, an associate in 1984, and full professor in 1991. Moreover, Bozeman served as chair of the Mathematics Department from 1982 to 1993, as adjunct faculty in the Math Department at Atlanta University from 1983 to 1985. In 1993, Bozeman established the Center for the Scientific Applications of Mathematics at Spelman College, and served as director. In a special partnership between the mathematics departments of Spelman College and Bryn-Mawr College, Bozeman co-directs Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE), a national program that assists women in mathematics in making the transition from college to graduate school. In 2007 the EDGE Program was given special recognition by the American Mathematics Society for its effectiveness.

Her noted scholarly activities include several publications, funded research (by NASA, the US Office of Army Research and the Kellogg Foundation); and her recognitions, contributions, and services as a gifted teacher and presenter. Bozeman is a member of the Mathematical Association of American, and, in 1997, she became the first African-American elected as an MAA Section Governor in the association’s eighty-two year history.

Bozeman and her husband, Dr. Robert Bozeman, live in Alabama with their two children, Robert, Jr. and Kizzie.

Sylvia Trimble Bozeman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 18, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.209

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/18/2012

Last Name

Bozeman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Trimble

Occupation
Schools

Emory University

Vanderbilt University

Alabama A&M University

Edward Bell High School

Agreeable Hill Elementary

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sylvia

HM ID

BOZ02

Favorite Season

Christmas, Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/1/1947

Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Favorite Food

Vegetables, Desserts

Short Description

Mathematician Sylvia Bozeman (1947 - ) was the founder and director of The Center for the Scientific Applications of Mathematics at Spelman College.

Employment

Spelman College

Favorite Color

Cranberry

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sylvia Bozeman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sylvia Bozeman lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sylvia Bozeman describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sylvia Bozeman describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her father's education and career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her mother's career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sylvia Bozeman describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her family

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sylvia Bozeman describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sylvia Bozeman describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her family's involvement in the church

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her memories of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about how black schools were named

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her decision to attend Alabama A&M University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about Alabama A&M University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her introduction to mathematical research

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about the political climate at Alabama A&M University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sylvia Bozeman remembers her career aspirations during her college years

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her female math instructors

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her decision to attend Vanderbilt University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about integration at Vanderbilt University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her experience at Vanderbilt University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about teaching at Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her decision to attend Emory University for her Ph.D.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sylvia Bozeman describes her dissertation on operator theory

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her involvement with the black math community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about black women mathematicians

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her post-doctoral employment prospects

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her career at Spelman College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about the STEM initiatives at Spelman College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her professional memberships and awards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her work at Spelman College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about the evolution of Spelman's STEM programs under the leadership of Dr. Etta Faulkner

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her professional affiliations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about the renovation of Tapley Hall

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about the EDGE Program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her presentation at the Congressional Diversity and Innovation Caucus

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about the government's inadequate support of STEM initiatives for HBCUs

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about black mathematicians

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about the future of the EDGE Program

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about Bob Moses' Algebra Project

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sylvia Bozeman reflects upon her life choices

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sylvia Bozeman reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her husband, a fellow mathematician

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Sylvia Bozeman talks about her children

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Sylvia Bozeman reflects upon how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sylvia Bozeman describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$9

DATitle
Sylvia Bozeman talks about her introduction to mathematical research
Sylvia Bozeman talks about her career at Spelman College
Transcript
Now Huntsville is now the sight of a, is a NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] center in Huntsville.$$Right. So Redstone Arsenal turned into Marshall Space Flight Center. And so that's one of the NASA sites. It was originally named Redstone Arsenal. But it is still the same NASA facility, evolved.$$Okay, so now it's the Marshall Space Center. So--$$Um-hmm. Robert worked out there when he, as a, you know sophomore, junior in college math major. He actually worked out there in the evenings as a, in an engineering position. That's what they called them, engineer.$$Okay. So this is, you really--did you follow the space program closely when you were growing up?$$I don't know that I followed it more close than anybody else but you know I was aware and I went out to, onto Redstone Arsenal. Actually my department chair, Dr. Howard Foster was a physicist and he had some connections out there and he hired me as a student research assistant to help him with some calculations and he took me out there and had them to give me access to a computer, a small computer, small meaning probably the size of that file cabinet over there but at that point it probably could do about as much as a little hand (unclear). But you know, but it was my first introduction to the idea of computing.$$Okay. So you learned how to--was the computer basically a big calculator or something that--?$$Yes, really. And I don't, I can't even remember how much I learned from being out there you know working on that because I didn't really have a lot of help. But I, you know I did help him with his calculations there and back in, back on campus using desk calculators to the point that he did acknowledge me in his paper when he published his results. And so you know that probably gave me my first introduction to research and then the next summer I can't--I would, and it must have been due to his influence but I ended up spending a summer at Harvard [University] in a summer program for students that came from minority institutions, mostly across the south. There was a summer program in Harvard in math. Well I guess it wasn't just in math. I was in math and some of the other students but some of the students were in other areas. So I spent a summer there and after that you know I was primed for graduate school. So I have to think that Dr. Foster influenced me to do these things. I can't imagine how else I would have ended up at Harvard in a summer program.$$Now what's his first name?$$Howard Foster.$$Okay, oh Dr. Howard Foster.$$Uh-huh.$$And he was, he taught physics and math at--?$$He was chair of the math and physics department. It was one department but he was a physicist and he taught physics.$$Now did he teach you calculus?$$No, just physics. He only taught physics but he was the chair of the--it was a combined department.$$So, but you had calculus I guess for the first time in--?$$I had calculus at Alabama A & M with Dr., I'll think of that in a minute. His name just slipped right out of my head. I had a Cuban calculus professor, Castillo, Dr. Castillo. He was one of my favorite teachers too, C-A-S-T-I-L-L-O.$$Okay.$$Dr. Castillo, so he taught all of us calculus, my husband, taught my husband calculus too.$Okay. Now I have this on the outline in 1977, is this when you founded the Center for Scientific Application of Mathematics?$$No, that happened in 1993 so I'm not sure.$$Okay, all right. I think I got it in the wrong place.$$'77 [1977], I'm trying to see what--$$Well lets not worry about that now and--$$Okay. I don't know what happened in '77 [1977]. I was trying to remember what that would have been.$$But I know that after, it sys here--$$I probably went back to graduate school in '77 [1977], I guess.$$Yeah, you had been working on your Ph.D.?$$Uh-huh, I went back in '76 [1976].$$Okay, but in '82 [1982], this is two years after your Ph.D., you became the chair of the math department here.$$Right, like I said more responsibilities, right? So it's unusual to, I thought it was unusual for somebody to be, have two, be two years out of graduate school and then become chair of the math department but that's what happened.$$Well in a time when you know technology and the science and technology are leaping forward, what--did you have--I mean what were your priorities as chairman of the math department at Spelman [College] in '82 [1982]?$$In--so I guess it was 1980 when I was finishing up. I think that--I guess I have my dates right. I had a student named Daphne Smith and she went, left Spelman and went to MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, private research university] in math and she got a Ph.D. in math and probability. And it was a realization, it was--she was the first student out of this department, math department to get a Ph.D. in math. And I think it made us start to think more about our--the need for more of our students to go on to get Ph.D.s in math and it was a realization all across the sciences here, that not just math but in all of the sciences, we needed to put more emphasis on having students to go on to graduate school and to get Ph.D.s. And so we started an all out effort to do that and that was one of my priorities during the time I was chair to get more of our students into graduate school and more of them to earn Ph.D.s.$$Okay. All right, now was the department in pretty good shape when you inherited the chair, chairmanship?$$In terms of good shape you mean in terms of the number of faculty and number of students or--?$$I guess in terms of the--you had just come out of a Ph.D. program. Were they up to, you know was it up to speed the way you would like it to be when you came out?$$In terms of the curriculum?$$Right.$$I think, we had a pretty strong curriculum because see when I was taking over as chair I was taking over from Dr. Etta Faulkner who had been chair and she was top notch.$$Right, now I've heard of her before.$$Oh yes.$$Yeah.$$So she--$$Tell us something about her. Now what's her background and--$$She, I can't remember what year she came to Spelman, maybe it's '69 [1969] but she finished her Ph.D. at Emory [University] and she was, came here and became chair of the math department and Dr. Shirley McBay was also here, another black woman mathematician and Shirley became associate dean or something like that. She was you know, one step up. No, and chair of the science division. That's what Shirley was and the dean. And so the two of them had already, when I came they had already started looking at the fact that only 10 percent of our students were in math and science at Spelman and they thought that there needed to be more, that we needed to really put more effort into getting women into science. So--and some of what I'm about to say I'm thinking, I'm taking from an article that Dr. Faulkner wrote about the history of the sciences at Spelman and she talks there about how the science building was dark and dreary and there was no talk about women being in science and math on campus, nothing appeared in our literature about it. And they talked the president into starting a new era to try to change that. And they started a summer science program to try to bring, get these women who were coming into the school into the sciences at the very beginning and they did all kinds of things to try to improve the sciences and they did. And so they got the whole faculty on board so whatever we did it was not in the math department it was all across the sciences. We worked together to try to increase the number of students that were going on to, that were coming into the sciences in the first place and graduating with a BS and then by the time I came along as chair in the 80s [1980s], it was now okay, how many of these students can we get to go on to graduate school and to get Ph.D.s in math and science?

Alfred Msezane

Research physicist Alfred Z. Msezane was born on December 31, 1938 in South Africa. His father, Albert, was a businessman and his mother, Esther, a housewife. Msezane enrolled in the University of South Africa in 1960, where he studied the shape and behavior of one of the most fundamental particles – the electron. Msezane graduated from the University of South Africa in 1964 with his B.S. degree in physics. Msezane then travelled to Canada to conduct research and study at the University of Saskatchewan in Ontario, Canada, where he received his M.S. degree in physics in 1968. Msezane returned to South Africa for a year to conduct research at the Nuclear Physics Research Unit of Witwaterstrand University. Msezane received his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Western Ontario in 1973.

Msezane started his long career as a college professor at the University of New Brunswick in 1973 and became a physics instructor in 1976. Msezane immigrated to United States from Canada to complete his postdoctoral research at the Georgia State University in 1974. From 1978 to 1980, he served as a visiting professor at Louisiana State University. In 1980, Msezane joined the faculty of Morehouse College as an assistant professor of physics. He left Morehouse College in 1983 to become a professor at Atlanta University and served as chair of the physics department from 1986 to 1989. In 1988, Atlanta University merged with Clark University to become Clark Atlanta University, and Msezane remained on as a professor of physics. Msezane is the director of the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS) at Clark Atlanta University. His research team investigates mathematical physics theory, solid matter, and image processing. Msezane’s research on electron interaction with matter and electron configuration within the atom has resulted in over 260 research papers published in scholarly journals.

Msezane is also a member of several professional societies, including the American Physical Society (APS) and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). Msezane was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Fort Hare (South Africa) in 1998, and is a recipient of the World University Service Scholarship.

Alfred Msezane works in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alfred Msezane was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 11, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.245

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/11/2012

Last Name

Msezane

Maker Category
Middle Name

Z.

Occupation
Schools

Western University

University of Saskatchewan

University of South Africa

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfred

HM ID

MSE01

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I don't have till the second coming.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/31/1938

Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

South Africa

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Alfred Msezane (1938 - ) , an internationally renowned theoretical physicist, is the director of the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS) at Clark Atlanta University.

Employment

Witwatersrand University

University of Western Ontario

Georgia State University

University of New Brunswick

Louisiana State University

Morehouse College

Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1674,27:3162,47:4836,70:23715,472:32400,527:35800,567:38520,620:38860,625:39285,631:43669,667:45489,686:46399,699:47673,715:59488,906:77630,1049$0,0:3116,45:6642,143:7052,150:7708,160:8036,166:9102,183:9676,192:10004,197:10414,204:10906,211:11234,216:17850,229:23870,262:24870,274:31600,316:32160,326:38320,427:45152,508:46608,520:47840,532:59306,586:102024,1121:102760,1130:103496,1139:109920,1202:111090,1216:112350,1234:112710,1239:124530,1368
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Msezane's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes life in colonized South Africa

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes the people of Swaziland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane talks about the colonial history of South Africa

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane talks about the Zulu tribe

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane talks about his father, and about how his parents met and married

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his family's life in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa

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

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks about his brother, Richard Msezane, and his first school in Johannesburg

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about the toxic gases released from the gold mines of Johannesburg, South Africa

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in St. Louis Catholic School and Thlakula School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane talks about World War II, and his community's involvement in the African National Congress [ANC]

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in Thlakula School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his decision to attend the University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes the segregation of South African universities and professional practice under the apartheid government

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane describes the importance of education, as a South African

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in InKamana High School and at the University of Fort Hare

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alfred Msezane describes the differences between the British and American education systems

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alfred Msezane describes his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree in physics at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at the University of Saskatchewan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane describes his master's degree thesis research

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at the University of the Witwatersrand, and his departure from South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane talks about his late wife, Gail Msezane

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on collision theory

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes his reasons for not returning to South Africa after his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane describes his post-doctoral experience at Georgia State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at Louisiana State University and at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about his funding relationship with the U.S. Department of Energy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane talks about his experience at Morehouse College, and the lack of research infrastructure at HBCUs

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Carlos Handy, and their contributions towards research at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane talks about meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane discusses his visits to South Africa and the country's current status of physics

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks upon the importance of a formal education to inform political commentary

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about his participation in conferences, his research in nano-science, and his professional memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane reflects upon his life's choices

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his preference for research over administration

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his hopes and concerns for the African-American community today

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Alfred Msezane describes the importance of education, as a South African
Alfred Msezane describes his post-doctoral experience at Georgia State University
Transcript
You know, (unclear) I will have to say to you, when I was growing up, education was paramount. Now, I want to tell you, you know, what is interesting, because around 1960 or '62 [1962], 1960, there was a treason fire in South Africa, where many of the people, including Albert Luthuli [South African teacher and politician; president of the African National Congress; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and first African to win a Nobel Prize, 1960/1961] were rounded and charged with treason but where many of us learned was they had some excellent lawyers, like the Jewish community in South Africa was very strong. To cut a long story short, they defeated the government with its own laws, with its own prosecutors and judges, very impressive. So that was motivation for us to go to school. The intellectual capacity of these lawyers, yeah, it's not--it wasn't easy to defeat the South African government at that time. But they could. These people were freed, yeah, we know a treason trial in South Africa meant you would hang at the end of the day.$Okay, so you took a post-doctoral [position] here in the states, right?$$Right.$$Yeah--$$First at Georgia State [University, Atlanta, Georgia] with a friend of mine, Steve Manson. I must say that when I worked with Steve, Steve Manson, M-A-N-S-O-N, changed the dynamics of research completely because his model was first, we have to publish in a prestigious physics journals. Otherwise, we don't count. And that's what, you know, was imbedded in my head. For the first time, I could see us publishing in some of the prestigious physics journals.$$Okay, so when did you publish your first paper?$$Oh, no, about--my first paper was published in, when I was at Western Ontario [University of Western Ontario, London, Canada] for (unclear)--$$Okay.$$But with him, in this--between '75 [1975] and '79 [1979], we published lots of papers with Steve Manson here, and he exposed me to many of these very high-powered physicists. One of them is Ugo Fano from the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois], one of the top physicists at that time, yep. And there's a large--and then he also made me attend the meetings of the American Physical Society and introduced me to many people. I also attended the international conferences. And that bothered me because you had, you don't see blacks, even in America.$$Well, not many.$$Yeah, even today, you still don't see many.