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African Americans in Mathematics
Edited by: Nathaniel Dean, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ
A co-publication of the AMS and DIMACS.

DIMACS: Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science
1997; 205 pp; hardcover
Volume: 34
ISBN-10: 0-8218-0678-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-0678-4
List Price: US$60
Member Price: US$48
Order Code: DIMACS/34
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This volume contains research and expository papers by African-American mathematicians on issues related to their involvement in the mathematical sciences. Little is known, taught, or written about African-American mathematicians. Information is lacking on their past and present contributions and on the qualitative and quantitative nature of their existence in and distribution throughout mathematics. This lack of information leads to a number of questions that have to date remained unanswered. This volume provides details and pointers to help answer some of these questions.


  • Research articles by distinguished African-American mathematicians.
  • Accomplishments of African-American researchers in the mathematical sciences.
  • Articles that explore issues important to the African-American community and to the mathematics community as a whole.
  • Inspiration for African-American students who wish to pursue advancement in the mathematical sciences.

Co-published with the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science beginning with Volume 8. Volumes 1-7 were co-published with the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM).


Graduate students, historians, sociologists, mathematical policymakers, and research mathematicians.


"Near the beginning of this decade William Massey of Bell Laboratories (then AT&T, now Lucent Technologies) had an idea for an organization devoted mainly to addressing critical issues involving African-American researchers and graduate students in the mathematical sciences. This organization became known as the Conference for African-American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences (CAARMS). The book under review here contains some of the invited papers and poster presentations given at CAARMS2, and other papers pertaining to objectives and purposes of CAARMS. Overall, the editor has succeeded in organizing the content of the volume to reflect faithfully the objectives of CAARMS. There is something for nearly everyone, especially those persons interested in making mathematics participation more inclusive."

-- MAA Online

Table of Contents

Part I. Invited Research Talks
  • J. D. Farley -- Chain decomposition theorems for ordered sets and other musings
  • C. R. Mahoney -- Unimodality and the independent set numbers of matroids
  • C. Clark -- On achieving channels in a bipolar game
  • W. M. Miller -- Discrete approximation of invariant measures for multidimensional maps
  • N. Whitaker -- Some numerical methods for a maximum entropy problem
  • I. H. Herron -- Hydrodynamic stability, differential operators and spectral theory
  • F. L. Williams -- The role of Selberg's trace formula in the computation of Casimir energy for certain Clifford-Klein space-times
  • S. W. Williams -- Some dynamics on the irrationals
Part II. Poster Presentations
  • G. Campbell -- Finding elliptic curves defined over \(Q\) of high rank
  • M. Keeve -- Symplectic matrix structure in numerical integration
  • K. Edoh -- A numerical algorithm for the computation of invariant circles
  • A. G. Noël -- Classification of nilpotent orbits in symmetric spaces
  • K. E. Needham -- Evaluating texture measures for low-level features in color images of human skin
  • A. Nkwanta -- Lattice paths and RNA secondary structures
  • R. Moten -- Nuprl as a concurrent interactive theorem prover
Part III. Historical Articles
  • L. Lorch -- Yesterday, today and tomorrow
  • E. Z. Falconer -- The challenge of diversity
  • P. C. Kenschaft -- What next? A meta-history of black mathematicians
  • D. M. Hill -- A personal history of the origins of the National Association of Mathematicians' "Presentations by Recipients of Recent Ph.D.'s"
  • N. Agwu and A. Nkwanta -- Dr. J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr.: The man and his works
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