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.
2021 Marjorie Lee Browne Colloquium, January 18, 4:00 pm
Ryan Hynd, University of Pennsylvania
Title: Shapes of Constant Width (poster)
Abstract: It is a great honor for me to speak in the Marjorie Lee Browne Colloquium series and to help celebrate her legacy this Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In my talk, I will discuss a favorite topic of mine: shapes of constant width. In the plane, they are closed convex curves which have the property that any two parallel supporting lines are the same distance apart in all directions. A fundamental problem involving these curves is to find one which encloses the smallest amount of area. This was resolved long ago, and I'll explain a few ways to address this problem. I'll also mention what is known in three dimensions, including that the least volume shape has yet to be found.
|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)|