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Legends Evelyn Granville

Evelyn Granville

Evelyn Granville is a mathematics and IT pioneer who began her career in academia, went on to prgramming challenges at IBM and ultimately worked on NASA's space program before returning to teach others.

Granville grew up in the 1930's in Washington D.C. She pursued her education as a means to rise above the segregated social limitations of the time. Her favorite subject was mathematics and Granville set her sights on becoming a mathematics teacher. She was accepted at two graduate schools, the University of Michigan and Yale University.She chose Yale because the university granted her a scholarship to supplement the financial aid she received from Smith College. She received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Yale in 1949, the same year as another woman mathematician, Marjorie Lee Browne received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. Granville and Browne represented the first two Black women to receive doctorates in Mathematics in the United States. Following her graduation from Yale, Dr Granville spent a year as a research assistant at the New York University Institute of Mathematics. She was then appointed as Associate Professor of Mathematics at Fisk University in Nashville where two of her former students went on to receive PhD.s in Mathematics.

Granville joined IBM in January 1956, where she found programming to be a welcome challenge. She returned to Washington to be part of the team of IBM mathematicians and scientists who were responsible for the formulation of orbit computations and computer procedures, first for NASA's Project Vanguard and later for Project Mercury. After this, she returned to teaching, lecturing and writing, where she continues to inspire the next generation of academics and students with the beauty of mathematics.


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