Who was the first African-American woman mathematician? She was born in the late 1800's and died in the late 1900's. The answer is Dr. Martha Euphemia Haynes.

Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890-1980), was born September 11, 1890 in Washington, D.C. She was the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics.

Her father, Dr. William S. Lofton was a renown African-American dentist and financier in the African-American business community. Lavinia Day Lofton, her mother, was active in the Catholic church. Also, Euphemia became active in the Catholic church.

She attended Washington's Miner Normal School in 1909 where she graduated. She received a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Psychology in 1913. Harold Appo Haynes, her husband, became a principal and deputy superintendent of Washington's schools for "colored" or African-American students.

Haynes received a Masters degree in education in 1930 from the University of Chicago, and earned a doctorate degree in mathematics from Catholic University of America in 1943.

Did you know that in 1925, Elbert Frank Cox became the first African-American to receive a doctorate in pure mathematics.
In 1946, Walter S. McAfee, an African-American made the essential calculations as the mathematician for Project Diana, a project created by the U.S. Army in their quest to send a radar signal to make the first human contact with the moon. This signal was an important step in space exploration because it confirmed that communication was possible across the vast distances of outer space. That signal was sent on January 10, 1946 with calculations made by Mr. McAfee.

In 1947, David Blackwell was the first African-American mathematician to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

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Katherine Johnson
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