Geraldine Darden


Born: July 22, 1936

Birthplace: Nansemond County, VA

B.S. (1957) Hampton Institute; M S (1960) University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; M.S. (1965) Syracuse University

Ph.D. Syracuse University (1967)
thesis: On Direct Sums of Cyclic Groups; Advisor: James Reid

Geraldine Darden, the ninth African American woman mathematician, earned all her degrees in mathematics, a B.S.from Hampton Institute in (1957), an M.S. (1965) and a Ph.D. (1967) from Syracuse University.

Darden attended the segregated Black public schools of her county, and was a very good student. However, the only career which she thought open to her was that of a high school teacher. So after she graduated from Hampton Institute she began high school teaching. In a few months she decided she had made a misstake, and applied for(and received) a grant to study in one of the summer institutes Marjorie Lee Browne directed at North Carolina Central.

Darden was encouraged to attend graduate school by Marjorie Lee Browne and Eleanor Dawley Jones. At the end of Darden's first year at Syracuse she went to the office of her abstract algebra professor. He said, "You did well, you came in third." She was astounded because she knew many of the other students were good. "Are you sure you know who I am?" He laughed for she was the only woman and the only black in her class. When she expressed to him doubts of her ability to earn a Ph.D., his response was, you can do it.

After her degree, Dr. Darden became strongly interested in issues of high school and college mathematics education. Along with the famed textbook author Tom Apostol and two others, she published

Selected papers on precalculus. Reprinted from the American Mathematical Monthly (vols. 1--81) and from the Mathematics Magazine (vols. 1--49). Edited by Tom M. Apostol, Gulbank D. Chakerian, Geraldine C. Darden and John D. Neff. The Raymond W. Brink Selected Mathematical Papers, Vol. 1. The Mathematical Association of America, Washington, D.C., 1977. xvii+469 pp. ISBN: 0-88385-202-0 00A10

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