Evelyn Boyd Granville
“Never give up trying to solve a problem. No matter what the problem is.”
Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville, quoted by Salatheia Bryant in “Mathematics can open doors for you,” Houston Chronicle, Feb. 8, 1998, p. 45A
Copyright 2003 National Visionary Leadership Project. Photo by Skip Coblyn.
Evelyn Boyd Granville was a graduate of Smith College and Yale University, where in 1949 she became the second Black woman in the United States to receive a doctoral degree in mathematics. After several years with the National Bureau of Standards, Dr. Granville spent twelve years in private industry specializing in orbital computations, celestial mechanics, numerical analysis, and digital computer techniques in support of the Mercury Project (the first U.S. manned mission in space), and the Apollo Project.
Dr. Granville subsequently joined the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles, teaching courses in computer programming and numerical analysis as well as coauthoring a college textbook for prospective elementary school teachers on the teaching of mathematics. Dr. Granville moved to Texas in 1983, teaching for three and a half years at Texas College and seven years at the University of Texas, both in Tyler. Throughout much of her life, she remained active in the field of education through visits to schools to encourage the study of mathematics and the presentation of workshops to strengthen the teaching of mathematics.
Evelyn Boyd Granville, “My Life As a Mathematician,” Agnes Scott College
Biography from Black Women in Mathematics (Mathematicians of the African Diaspora), University of Buffalo, NY