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African-American Mathematicians

 Reference: Dean, N., McZeal, C., Williams, P. (1999) African-American in mathematics

             11: fourth conference for African-American Researchers in Mathematical

              Science, Rice University Houston, Texas. AMS Bookstore publishers, p 139-


 Book summary:

             This book is about the Fourth Conference for African American Researchers in the Mathematical Science proceeding which was held at the Center for Research on Parallel Computation at Rice university in Houston. It presents a brief history of the National Association of Mathematicians, Inc,. Other issues presented in the book are poster presentation and talks that are critical issues among the African –American in mathematics participation. These are ideal issues for the general mathematical community as well as the minority researchers. This second volume also explores research and expository papers that have distinguished mathematicians from the African American community. Students can benefit from this book as it provides role models and leadership direction.


The history of the National Association of Mathematicians

           The National Association of Mathematician, Inc (NAM) was initially a small group with a few mathematicians from the minority Americans. The group was founded in 1969. By 1999, the association had grown to being   internationally recognized. It is currently a Non profit organization specializing in the field of mathematical sciences. Most of its members do not live in the USA and are the non-minority American Mathematicians since membership is open to all.

 The initial stage of this group had seventeen members who met on January 26, 1969 in New Orleans. The members had one objective in mind; to make a difference in mathematical science, first as a group and later into being an organization in the USA and later to the whole world. Another agenda in mind was to create a force in mathematical science community which could not be separated and isolated from the mainstream. The force would be a problem solving force in resolving conflicts originating from cultural problem with an aim of the well being of the community of scholars.

 The group has achieved a lot. It has been influential in creating a new era in of mathematical science in the United Sates. The association has achieved in representing the perspectives and views of several people allover the world with the same thoughts. The group has managed to change the course of exclusion and silence of the minority Americans in the field of mathematics. The association has incorporated all those people who desire to learn mathematics and make a contribution to the community of scholars’ specifically in mathematical sciences.

               Questions raised by the group concerned who to be their spoke persons if they themselves could not take the initiative of representing their own views. The second major question concerned the time when to begin. In which the earlier the better became the option filed with self determination. In less than a year of its conception, hundred more people had joined this association.

             Walter R Talbot played a key role in this association. He solicited for funds and organized the first meetings held in New Orleans. He was neither a leader nor wanted any leadership positions. He was satisfied being a catalyst as an important role of the birth of NAM during its formative years (Dean, McZeal & Williams, 1999, p 142).

 Generally, NAM interests ware to fight for fairness openness, inclusion, improvement and progression in mathematical science in the US and worldwide. NAM aired this awareness by encouraging American Mathematicians of color to join. This group facilitated the development of the Association for Women Mathematicians in 1971.

 Reference: Williams, S (2002) mathematicians of the African Diaspora. Retrieved from,


                     On 9th March, 2010

 Web summary:

           This web is a copyright of bonvidbre & daughters created in 2008. It has been revised severally in 1999, 2000, and 2001 and in 2002. The web is authored by Scott W. Williams. He presents the greatest Black mathematicians of the 1960s to the 19990’s. The mathematicians are categorized into the young mathematician whose careers had extraordinary performance, those who have earned masters level in mathematics and the most important mathematicians.

 Who are the greatest Black Mathematicians?

               The greatest black mathematicians of the 1960’s and 1970’s were quite few in the world. Most of them had not reached masters level in their careers but were internationally known in Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Asia with their excellence in respective fields. Franscico Antonio Doria was born in 1945 in Brazil. In 2008 he was a professor in Emeritus of Communication at Federal University and at that same time the chairman of Research Center on Mathematical Theories of communication. His recent research concern the existence of first growing recursive computable functions as to whether they are total or not.  He has achieved in mathematical physics, philosophy of science and logic. He has published several books.

             Noel Lohoue was born in Cameroon and has doctorate of the third cycle D.Sc and C.N.RS. He is a professor at the department of mathematics in the University of Paris, Orsay, France. Dr. Lohoue has published more that sixty research papers in Functional Analysis.

            Ronald Richard was born in West Indies. He has earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with special honors at the University of West Indies in 1976 and later a PhD in the same University. He has specialized in statistics. Others are Floyd Williams specialist of Lie groups and Homological Algebra, Olusaol Akinyele, Augustine Banyanga and Earl Barnes among others.

              The greatest mathematicians in the 1980s who earned past Fields medalist before they were forty years are Idris Assani, Johnny Brown, William Massey, Overtoun Jenda and Carl Graham. Idris Assani was born in Benin and studied Ergodic Theory and dynamics. He was French educated and has written strong papers on laws of weighted sums. Nathaniel Dean has specialized on applied mathematics; a program at Rice University. He is a full professor in mathematics at Texas Southern University. William Massey obtained a bachelor of science in mathematics later earned a PhD in industrial technologies. He has written many papers concerning Modeling of Telecommunications systems, Queuing Theory and Stochastic Processes.

 Oluwolwe Makinede is a Nigerian Born. He has specialized on pure mathematics in which he has published over fifty papers. He is the head of Applied Mathematics Department and a mathematics professor at the University of the North in South Africa.

            Those who had earned masters level by mid 1980’s were David Blackwell, James Ezeilo, Cahrles Bell, Ernest Wilkins and Bharucha-Reid. Richard Tapia and David Blackwell are the distinguished mathematicians who have inspired African American and Hispanic American students. The Mathematical Science Research Institute and Cornell University established the binary prize of the two mathematician scientists, called the Blackwell-Tapia Prize in their honor. It is presented to mathematical scientist with significant contribution to his/her specific field of study (Williams, 2002).


Dean, N., McZeal, C., Williams, P. (1999) African-American in mathematics

             11: fourth conference for African-American Researchers in Mathematical

              Science, Rice University Houston, Texas. AMS Bookstore publishers, p 139-


Williams, S (2002) mathematicians of the African Diaspora. Retrieved from,


                     On 9th March, 2010


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