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Dudley Weldon Woodard

February 5, 2011
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Dudley Weldon Woodard (1881-1965) became the first African-American to earn a Ph. D. in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1928, with his dissertation entitled “On Two-Dimensional Analysis Situs With Special Reference To The Jordan Curve Theorem.” In addition, he was the second African-American in the U.S. to receive a Ph. D. in Mathematics. Prior to pursuing his intellectual interests at Penn, Woodard served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Woodard returned to Howard after receiving his degree to establish a graduate program in mathematics, which he chaired until his retirement in 1947. As a professor in the program, Woodard taught and mentored future Penn alumnus and distinguished mathematician William Waldron Schieffelin Claytor.

 

Dominique Prue
C’14

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