Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Marjorie Lee Browne Colloquium - MLK Day

The Marjorie Lee Browne Colloquium was established in 1999 in the Department of Mathematics in observance of Martin Luther King day. The colloquium brings a distinguished speaker to campus to present a talk that highlights their research but also addresses the issue of diversity in the sciences. It honors the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics from UM.

Marjorie Lee Browne received her B.S. in mathematics from Howard University (1935). She received her M.S. in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1939, making her one of the first few African American women with a graduate mathematics degree. Ms. Browne taught at Wiley College while continuing graduate work during the summers. She received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Michigan in 1950, making her Michigan’s first known African American woman mathematics Ph.D. recipient. Her thesis, “On the One Parameter Subgroups of Certain Topological and Matrix Groups”, was directed by Professor G. Y. Rainich.  

Dr. Browne taught at North Carolina Central University from 1949 until her death in 1979. She was the only faculty member with a Ph.D. for twenty five years, and a strong leader. She chaired the department from 1951 until 1970, supervised ten Masters theses, and inspired a generation of talented students to continue in mathematics. Dr. Browne also had a deep interest in continuing education for secondary school teachers. Under her leadership, the NSF funded a summer institute for secondary school teachers of mathematics for thirteen years, for which Dr. Browne also authored four sets of lecture notes. 

Source: Patricia C. Kenschaft “Black Women in Mathematics in the United States,” American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 88 (1981), 592-604.

2023 Marjorie Lee Browne Colloquium

Date:     Monday, January 16, 2023

Room:   1324 East Hall, 530 Church Street

Time:     4:00 pm

View recording of talk here

Speaker:    Steven Kahn
                    Professor of Mathematics, Wayne State University (WSU)
                    Co-Founder, WSU Math Corps
                    Director, WSU Center for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics

Title:  Math Corps: Social Justice Through Loving and Believing in Kids--and a few Equations 


For over 30 years, the Wayne State University Math Corps—through summer camp and Saturday programs—has been working to provide Detroit’s children with the kinds of educational and lifetime opportunities that all children should have. Over the past several years, the Math Corps at U(M) has been doing the same, serving children from Ypsilanti. Rooted in social justice and based on a philosophy of “loving and believing in kids”, the Math Corps has achieved dramatic results and garnered national recognition and widespread acclaim. This talk will examine some of the principles and practices that drive the program, and that have been the most responsible for its success. Specific examples to be highlighted include: the “kids teaching kids” model of teaching and learning, the dedication to building a community that is centered, above all, around kindness, the belief in the importance of humor in all of our daily lives (“Three mathematicians walk into a bar...”), and most importantly, the absolutely unwavering vision that the kids in the Math Corps are all leaders in the fight for a better and more just world. 

Link to Poster


Previous Speakers

2022 Robert Megginson, University of Michigan (video of talk)
2021 Ryan Hynd, University of Pennsylvania
2020 Ricardo Cortez, Tulane University
2019 Suzanne L. Weekes, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
2018 Rudy Horne, Morehouse College (given by Professor Talitha Washington after the sudden passing of Professor Rudy Horne)
2017 Chelsea Walton, Temple University
2016 Cristina Villalobos, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley
2015 Edray Goins, Purdue University
2014 Trachette Jackson, University of Michigan
2013 Richard A. Tapia, Rice University
2012 James Curry, University of Colorado
2011 Ivelisse Rubio, University of Puerto Rico
2010 Rodrigo Banuelos, Purdue University
2009 Emery Brown, MIT
2008 Juan Meza, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
2007 William Massey, Princeton University
2006 Philip Kutzko, University of Iowa
2005 Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Arizona State University
2004 Arlie O. Petters, Duke University
2003 William Yslas Vélez, University of Arizona
2002 Raymond L. Johnson, University of Maryland
2001 Evelyn Boyd Granville, California State University, Los Angeles
2000 Sylvia Bozeman, Spelman College
1999 Robert Megginson, UM (prior to naming of the colloquium)