Argelia Velez-Rodriguez

Born: 1936

place: Havana Cuba

Sc.D.(1960) Mathematics at the University of Havana
thesis: Determination of Orbits Using Talcott's Method; advisor:


After winning an arithmetic competition at the age of 9, Argelia Velez-Rodriguez focused her interest on mathematics. In Cuba, she said, there was no racial discrimination excepting those excepting in the places owned or controlled by citizens of the U.S. Further all her professors were women with doctorates. Thus, it was with out racism or sexism that she obtained her Sc.D. in Mathematics at the University of Havana in 1960 as its first Black doctorate. However, in order to educate her children outside of the communist system, she left emigrated from Cuba in 1962, three years after the revolution, to the U.S. where her dark color exposed her to severe "tension and pressure" of racsim. She taught in several historically Black colleges, Bishop College (1973 to 1978). In 1980 she became program manager of the Department of Education's Minority Institutions Science Improvement Program.


  1. Kenschaft, Patricia. "Black women in mathematics in the United States," MAA Monthly, 88(8) (October, 1981), 592-604.
  2. Bates, Karl. "Argelia Velez-Rodriquez," in Notable Mathematicians, Robyn Young, Editor, Gale Research, 1998

other web pages on Dr. Rodrigues:;;


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