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Black History Month
2019 Honoree

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Evelyn Boyd Granville

Evelyn Boyd Granville

Mathematician

Computer Scientist

Educator

Dr. Granville is the second African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics, which she completed at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in 1949. She also earned a double Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Physics in only one year at Yale. Dr. Granville’s undergraduate degree is from Smith College.

In January of 2019, at the age of 94 years young, Dr. Boyd attended the Annual National Association of Mathematicians Banquet and was awarded the NAM Golden Anniversary Legacy Award. Evelyn Boyd was born May 1, 1924 in segregated Washington, D.C. but that didn’t prevent her from enjoying the books from the libraries and the interesting things at all the museums that were available. She told everyone that she “loved school” and her favorite subject was math. She graduated as one of five valedictorians from Dunbar High School. It is no wonder that Evelyn grew up to accomplish all that she has done.

She was a Mathematics Professor at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, California State University in Los Angeles (CSULA) and Texas College in Tyler, Texas. She also taught Computer science at Texas College. While teaching at Texas College she, and her husband, raised 800 chickens and sold their eggs.

As a Computer Programmer at IBM, Dr. Granville was on the team responsible for the formulation of orbit computations and computer procedures for NASA’s Projects Vanguard and Mercury.

Dr. Granville was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from Smith College, the first one given by an American college to an African American woman in Mathematics. She also has honorary Doctorate degrees from Spelman College, Yale University, and Lincoln University.

After her retirement, in 1997, Dr. Granville continued to be involved with Mathematics by encouraging students to explore the value of Mathematics, as well as serving as a national speaker for many different associations. When someone asked her what she thought her biggest contribution to math was she stated, “Being an African American woman, and letting people know that we have brains too.”

~~The MGB Team would like to send a very special “Thank You” to Dr. Shelly Jones for writing this highlight of Dr. Granville.~~