Posts Tagged ‘National Academy of Sciences inductee’

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

July 30, 2011
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** 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 sciences
^{1} - 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}

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