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Posts Tagged ‘author’

Carter G. Woodson, Historian, Author, Educator, Journalist (1875)

March 25, 2013 1 comment

Born on December 19, 1875, this remarkable man resisted insurmountable odds and became a historian, an author, an educator and a journalist.

For financial reasons, he couldn’t attend school on a regular basis, so he resorted to self-instruction. By age 17, he’d mastered the fundamentals of common school subjects.

In 1895, at age 20, he entered Douglass High School and received his diploma in less than two years.

In 1912, he earned a Ph.D. in History at Harvard University, becoming the second African-American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University. The first African-American to receive a Harvard University doctorate was W.E.B. DuBoisRead more…

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David Blackwell, Mathematician, Author and Game Theorist (1919)

July 30, 2011 Leave a comment

David Harold Blackwell (April 24, 1919–July 8, 2010), a mathematician, author and game theorist, entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at age 16 and was awarded a Ph.D. in Mathematics at age 22.

Also of note:

  • Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao and David Blackwell formulated what has come to be known as the Rao–Blackwell Theorem in Statistics
  • in 1965, he was the first African-American inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, an honor society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research for the furtherance of science and technology for humanity
  • he was the first black tenured faculty member at University of California, Berkeley
  • he authored the textbook Basic Statistics, which was published in 1969
  • he was awarded the John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1979
  • in 2002, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California, and Cornell University established the Blackwell-Tapia Award in honor of David Blackwell and Richard A. Tapia, distinguished mathematical scientists who have been inspirations to more than a generation of African-American and Hispanic-American students and professionals in the mathematical sciences1
  • Lastly, the following quote has been attributed to David Blackwell:

I’ve worked in so many areas—I’m sort of a dilettante. Basically, I’m not interested in doing research and I never have been. I’m interested in understanding, which is quite a different thing. And often to understand something you have to work it out yourself because no one else has done it.2

External Links:

  1. David Blackwell (Bellevue College)
  2. Arlie Petters receives first Blackwell-Tapia Prize

Quoted References:

  1. Who Are The Greatest Black Mathematicians?
  2. David Blackwell @ Wikipedia

Further References:

  1. Rao-Blackwell Theorem @ Scholarpedia
  2. National Academy of Sciences:  About the NAS