#MathMonday with Dr. Vivienne Malone-Mayes (1932-1995)
Dr. Vivienne Malone-Mayes was a mathematician and professor. After taking courses taught by Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville, one of the first African-American women to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics, Vivienne became interested and driven in her math career. After being rejected from Baylor University because of her race, Vivienne attended the University of Texas, which was required by federal law to desegregate. However, Vivienne was one of the only black students and the pressure was immense. In 1966, Vivienne became the fifth African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics.
Although she was the only woman and only black student in many of her classes throughout graduate school, Vivienne persevered. There were instances when she could not go to establishments with her classmates because they would not serve African-Americans, or even take classes because professors refused to teach black students.
Vivienne would go on to become the first black faculty member at Baylor University, the same university that had rejected her as a student on the basis of race.