One of the first black women to receive a master's degree in mathematics in America: Who is Marjorie Lee Browne?

Being a woman in science is hard, and it's even harder if you're a black woman in early 20th-century America. Until the end of the 19th century, female mathematicians had to struggle hard to overcome the negative effects of being a woman.

By Stephen McWright Published on 23 Şubat 2024 : 16:07.
One of the first black women to receive a master's degree in mathematics in America: Who is Marjorie Lee Browne?

It was during such a period that Marjorie Lee Browne was born in the United States.

She was actually a lucky child, her family was passionate about mathematics and they supported their daughter in this field since her childhood. She received a good education. She graduated from Howard University in the capital Washington D.C., which was mostly attended by blacks, in 1935.

She taught mathematics and physics at Gilbert College in the same city. During her time as an instructor, she continued her studies in mathematics and supported young people around her who could not receive education due to financial difficulties. This woman, who could not get enough of reading, went on to the University of Michigan. She received a master's degree in mathematics in 1939, becoming one of the first black women to receive this degree.

Marjorie Lee Browne (September 9, 1914 – October 19, 1979) was a mathematics educator. She was one of the first African-American women to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics.

She started working again. She gave lectures at various universities. She also attended her doctoral program at the University of Michigan during the summers. Ultimately, in 1949, she completed all her doctoral studies and deserved to receive the degree. However, according to university rules, it was accepted that she received her doctorate degree in 1950.

She started working at North Carolina Central University in 1949. She was the only professor in the mathematics department with a doctorate degree. She remained there until her retirement in 1979. She became head of the mathematics department in 1951.

She went to Cambridge University in England with a Ford Scholarship. She continued her research in topology. She conducted research in the field of topology at California and Columbia Universities with various scholarships. She trained teachers who taught mathematics in high schools and middle schools. She received many awards for her contributions. After her retirement, until her death, she spent the money she had saved throughout her life on the development of students with superior abilities in mathematics.