Evelyn Granville Boyd

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  • Topic: Doctorate, Mathematics, California
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  • Published : May 15, 2011
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Evelyn Boyd Granville

Evelyn Boyd Granville, a mathematician, teacher, and scientist, she was born on January 5, 1924 in Washington, D.C. She attended a then-segregated Dunbar High School, and was encouraged in the subject by two of her mathemetics teachers. Granville attended Smith College on a partial scholarship. In 1945, she graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She worked with Einar Hille, her Ph.D. faculty adviser at Yale University, in functional analysis. Granville received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale in 1949, the same year Marjorie Lee Browne received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan. They were the first Black women to receive doctorates in mathematics in the United States. From there, Granville spent a year researching at the New York University Institute of Mathematics and was a part-time instructor in the math department of New York University (NYU). In 1950, Professor Granville was appointed as Associate Professor of Mathematics at Fisk University, Nashville; where two of her former students, Vivienne Malone Mayes and Etta Zuber Falconer, went on to receive Ph.D.s in mathematics. After two years of teaching, Granville went to work for the Diamond Ordnance Fuze Laboratories as an applied mathematician. In 1956, she worked for IBM on the Project Vanguard and Project Mercury space programs, analyzing orbits and developing computer procedures. During that time, in southern California, Granville met the

Reverend Gamaliel Mansfield Collins, a minister in the community church. They were married in 1960, and made their home in Los Angeles, but the marriage ended in divorce. In Los Angeles, Granville had taken a job at the Computation and Data Reduction Center of the U.S. Space Technology Laboratories, studying rocket trajectories and methods of orbit computation. In 1962, she became a research specialist at the North American Aviation Space and Information Systems Division, working on celestial...
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