The following names represent those famous black mathematicians who beat the odds against their discrimination and achieved excellence in the field of mathematics.

## 1. Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

**Best known for:**Constructing a clock that struck hourly

## 2. Charles Lewis Reason (1818-1893)

**Best known for:**First African-American to teach in a pre-dominantly white college

## 3. Kelly Miller (1863-1939)

**Best known for:**First African-American to attend John Hopkins University

## 4. Dudley Weldon Woodard (1881-1965)

**Best known for:**Second African-American to earn Ph.D in mathematics and established the mathematics graduate program at Howard University

## 5. Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890–1980)

**Best known for:**First African-American woman to earn a Ph.D in Mathematics

## 6. Elbert Frank Cox (1895-1969)

**Best known for:**First African-American ever to receive Ph.D in Mathematics

## 7. William Waldron Schieffelin Claytor (1908-1967)

**Best known for:**Third African-American to receive a Ph.D in Mathematics

## 8. Marjorie Lee Browne (1914-1979)

**Best known for:** Third African-American to earn a Ph.D in Mathematics

## 9. David Harold Blackwell (1919-2010)

**Best known for:**First black faculty member at UC Berkeley and only black American inducted into National Academy of Sciences

## 10. Jesse Ernest Wilkins Jr. (1923-2011)

**Best known for:**Entering University at the age of 13

## 11. Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson (1918)

**Best known for:** Helping NASA put an astronaut into orbit around Earth. And then helping put a man on the moon

She started high school when she was just 10 years old, and at the age of 15, Katherine began college and graduated 3 years later.

After college, she became a teacher at school until she got married and had children. When her husband became very sick, she started teaching again to support her family.

When Katherine was 34, she heard that NACA (later called NASA) was hiring African-American women to solve math problems. These workers were called “computers.” She applied for one of the jobs, but the jobs were already taken. Still, she did not give up. She applied again the next year, and this time NASA hired her. She worked with a large group of women who were all computers like she was.

But Katherine was different from the other human computers. She asked a lot of questions. She wanted to learn more about her work and about NASA. So she started going to meetings. Before Katherine, only men attended these meetings. She changed that! She learned so much that she left her job as a computer. She became a team member who worked on different space projects.

Katherine studied how to use geometry for space travel. She figured out the paths for the spacecraft to orbit (go around) Earth and to land on the moon. NASA used Katherine's math, and it worked - they could not have done these things without Katherine Johnson and her love for math!

She worked for NASA for more than 30 years.

## 12. Annie Easley (1933 -2011)

**Best known for: **Helping make modern spaceflight possible

Few people are brilliant enough to be a computer programmer or a mathematician. Even fewer can add "rocket scientist for NASA” to their resume. Annie Easley, however, was all three. During her 34-year career, she worked on developing and implementing computer code that analyzed alternative power technologies, supported the Centaur high-energy upper rocket stage, determined solar, wind and energy projects, identified energy conversion systems and alternative systems to solve energy problems. Her energy assignments included studies to determine the life use of storage batteries, such as those used in electric utility vehicles. Her computer applications have been used to identify energy conversion systems that offer the improvement over commercially available technologies. And if that wasn’t notable enough, Easley also did all of this as one of the first few African-Americans in her field.

She retired in 1989 (some sources say 1991).