Thursday, July 6, 2023

A Pioneering Woman

      Born in Washington DC in 1924, Evelyn Boyd Granville graduated from Smith College in 1945 and in 1949 became the second African-American woman to receive a PhD from an American university -- from Yale.  She worked primarily in computing.  (July 7 update:  from this morning's Washington Post I have sadly learned that Granville has passed -- on June 27, 2023).

Details of Granville's achievements may be found here and here.

Today I celebrate the achievements of Evelyn Boyd Granville by including a poem about her from Jessy Randall's collection, Mathematics for Ladies: Poems on Women in Science (London: Goldsmiths Press, 2022) -- available here.

     Evelyn Boyd Granville  (b. 1924)     by Jessy Randall

          In mathematics we say a number is even
          if we can divide it by two.

          As if being raised by one mother
          wasn't hard enough, Evelyn Boyd Granville

          was raised by two women:
          her mother and her mother's twin sister.

          In 1949, Granville was one of only two
          African-American women to earn a Ph.D.

          Two years later, she was denied entry
          to her national conference.  The hotel was whites-only.

          In mathematics we say a number is even
          if we can divide it by two,

          or to be more precise, if we can divide it
          evenly by two.  Anything can be divided

          by two.  Anything can be divided.

Let us all imitate poet Jessy Randall!
Celebrate MATH WOMEN with POEMS!

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