Rogers Joseph Newman

Born: December 22, 1926

place: Remar, Alabama

AB (1948) Morehouse College; M.A. (1949) Atlanta University,   

Ph.D. (1961) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Research area: Complex Variables

Professor of Mathematics Southern University

Rogers Joseph Newman was born in a small town near Montgomery, Alabama. He earned his A.B. from Morehouse in 1948 (as a classmate of Martin Luther King, Jr.). His M.A. in mathematics from Atlanta University in 1949. In 1961, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He was one of first 25 African Americans to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. (see Modern Historical Significance for more)

Prior to earning his Ph.D., Newman taught at Bishop College (1949-50), Grambling College (1950-51), Jackson State College (1951-53), and Southern University (1953-55). In the Fall of 1961, Dr. Rogers Newman was appointed chair of the department of Mathematics at Southern University, a position held until Spring 1973.

During his more that 40 years of tenure as a mathematician and educator, Rogers has taught and influence scores of established mathematicians. His list of students who have earned doctorates include Stella Ashford, Juanita Bates, Roosevelt Calbert, Preston Dinkins, Carroll Guillory. and Dolores Spikes

Dr. Newman has been very active in the African American mathematician's organization NAM (National Association of Mathematicians). He gave the first Scholarly presentation at a NAM meeting (January 1972). He was President of NAM (1984-1994). He received the the NAM Distinguished Service Award (1994)

During his professional career, he had been active with several professional organizations: The National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) - President, 1984-1994; The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Bd of Gov., (1986-89); Task Force on Minorities (1986-Present), Chair of Committee to evaluate NAM and Task Force on Remediation; The American Mathematical Society (AMS) and Pi Mu Epsilon honorary Mathematical Society. Moreover, he has been a reader for National Science Foundation (NSF) and a reviewer for Mathematical Reviews. He has been an invited lecturer/consultant by several institutions, including Wabash College, VA State University and Winston-Salem State University. He gave the first Scholarly presentation at a NAM meeting in 1972.

Rogers J. Newman, AMS 100th Annual Meeting; Cincinnati, OH; January, 1994:

"My first AMS-MAA meeting was the one held in Washington, DC in January 1961. I had just picked up my degree from the University of Michigan at its mid-year commencement and I wanted to find out just what these meetings that many Michigan professors had talked so much about were like" .

The biographical material below was writen by Johnny Houston and was published in the NAM Newsletter, Fall Issue, 1996

Rogers Joseph Newman was born in Ramar, Alabamanear Montgomery, AL on December 22 as the only child of Jonathan Newman, a farmer and insurance agent and Vera Primos Newman, a school principal. Later in life when Rogers married his significant other, Dorothy Alice Willis Newman, their union also produced no daughters. However, it did produce three sons; the late Rogers Joseph Newman, Jr.; Roy Oliver Newman and Robert Marion Newman. Rogers received his high school diploma from Alabama State College Laboratory School.

After the 1954-55 academic year, Rogers actively pursued a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with duties as a teaching fellow during the 1957-58 academic year and as a junior instructor in (1958-60), while also doing limited teaching at Eastern Michigan University (1958-59). In the fall of 1960, Rogers returned to Southern University as a full time faculty member. In January 1961, he received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in Complex Variables, Dissertation Topic: Capacity and Tchebycheff Polynomials. In the Fall of 1961, he was appointed chair of the department of Mathematics at Southern University, a position held until Spring 1973. The Department flourished under his leadership.

In addition to college/university teaching, Rogers was Director of the Institute for Higher Education Opportunity - Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in Atlanta , GA (1973-73) and Dean of the College of Science and Humanities at Alabama State University in Montgomery, AL (1974-76). Rogers also taught at Tulane University (Summer, 1965), Tuskegee Institute (Summer, 1969) and he was the Commonwealth Visiting Professor at Longwood College in Farmville, VA (1984-86). He returned to Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA in the fall of 1986 and he remain there through the present.


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