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2nd black woman in U.S. history who earned math PhD honored by UT Tyler

In 1984, Dr. Granville retired to the Tyler area with her husband. Later, she joined UT Tyler as a professor in 1990, teaching mathematics and computer science.
Credit: Courtesy - UT Tyler
Dr. Evelyn Granville, the second black woman in U.S. history to earn a Ph.D. in math and former UT Tyler professor is honored for Black History Month.

TYLER, Texas — Dr. Evelyn Granville was born on May 1, 1924, in Washington, D.C., and is the second black woman in the history of the United States to receive a doctorate degree in mathematics. Her former place of employment, the University of Texas at Tyler, is honoring her for Black History Month by highlighting her monumental lifetime achievements.

Dr. Granville, in conjunction with various IBM mathematicians and scientists, assisted in formulating orbit computations and computer procedures for NASA's Vanguard and Mercury projects.

In 1984, Dr. Granville retired and transitioned to the Tyler area with her husband. By 1990, she decided to join UT Tyler as a professor of mathematics and computer science. In 1997, she retired again before moving to Corsicana.

The math legend wrote an autobiography called My Life as a Mathematician, where she claims her computer programming opportunity was “the most interesting job in her lifetime – to be a member of a group responsible for writing computer programs to track the paths of vehicles in space.”

Representing Dow Chemical Co. from 1998-99, Dr. Granville traveled to southeast and northeast Texas middle schools, encouraging students to pursue careers in mathematics. She emphasized to the young students that, “math skills involve logical and analytical thinking and there is hardly a career in which math skills are not needed.”

Nearly a decade later, Dr. Granville continues to be a beacon for UT Tyler by making an impact on the education of our youth. She teaches math at a summer camp to give students a head start on mathematical concepts.

For more information on UT Tyler, click here.

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