BS (1938) Johnson C. Smith University; MS (1939) University of Michigan,
PhD Institution: University of Michigan, 1943
thesis: Non-Linear Difference Equations Analytic in a Parameter ; Advisor: James Nyswander Area of Research Interests: Nonlinear Difference Equations (his thesis area), Algebra (his passion), and Methods of Teaching
Clarence Francis Stephens is the ninth African American to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics. Clarence F. Stephens was the fifth of six children (3 girls and 3 boys) of Sam Stephens (a chef and railroad worker) and Jeannette Morehead Stephens, and was raised in Gaffney, South Carolina on July 24, 1917. As his mother died when he was two and father when he was eight, Clarence and the five siblings went to live with their grandmother. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Johnson C. Smith University (1938), and from the University of Michigan he earned an M.S. (1938) and a Ph.D. (1943) in Mathematics. At Michigan, he was fellow student with Luna Mishoe. Dr. Stephens' method of teaching is recognized as one of the most profound in producing mathematics majors many of whom went on to earn the Ph.D. [only the methods of the late white racist mathematician R. L. Moore is more widely known]. From 1942 to 1946, Stephens served as a Teacher Specialist in the U.S. Navy. In 1946 he joined the faculty of Prairie View College as a professor of Mathematics. In 1947 he was appointed as Chairman of the Mathematics department at Morgan state College (now University). From 1953-54, Dr. Stephens was a...