Evelyn Granville


Evelyn Granville
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Evelyn Boyd Granville, a pioneer in mathematics and mathematics education (b. 1 May 1924 in Washington, D.C.) was educated in the Washington, D.C., segregated public school system. From an early age, Granville excelled in academics. Teachers at Dunbar High School inspired her love of mathematics, and with their encouragement, she received a partial scholarship to Smith College. Granville excelled at Smith as a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude 1945 graduate. Receiving her Ph.D. at Yale University in just four years of functional analysis study under the direction of Einar Hille, Granville was one of the first two African-American women to receive a mathematics doctorate. Both Granville and Marjorie Lee Browne, who received a mathematics Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, earned their degrees in 1949.

Granville next spent a year as a research assistant at the New York University Institute of Mathematics and taught part-time in the university's math department. In 1950, she was hired as an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1956, Granville joined IBM, where she analyzed orbits and developed computer procedures for NASA's Project Vanguard and Project Mercury space programs.

Granville subsequently held a number of prestigious positions across the country, including research jobs at the Computation and Data Reduction Center of the U.S. Space Technology Laboratories and the North American Aviation Space and Information Systems Divisions. She returned to IBM as a senior mathematician in 1963. In the late 1960s, Granville turned her attention to improving mathematics education at all levels, teaching in Los Angeles elementary school classrooms and enrichment programs.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, she served on the faculty of several colleges and universities, including California State University, UCLA, and the University of Texas at Tyler, where she was appointed to the Sam A. Lindsey Chair in 1990.