Person: Pierce, Joseph
Joseph Pierce was the sixth African American to be awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics. He taught mathematics in universities for most of his career, undertook research in statistics, and is most famed for the classic book Negro Business and Business Education (1947) which was reprinted almost 50 years after it was first published.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- In 1921 Pierce was awarded a diploma from Atlanta University High School and later in this same year he entered Atlanta University and graduated with an A.B. degree in the social sciences in 1925.
- Pierce wanted to continue his football career and applied for the position of assistant football coach at Texas College in Tyler, Texas.
- Pierce greatly enjoyed teaching mathematics at Texas College and in 1927 he returned to Atlanta to take up the position of chair of the Department of Mathematics at Booker T Washington High School.
- Pierce now worked for a Master's Degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan and he was awarded this degree in 1930.
- He collaborated with Pierce and they co-authored two books Elementary Mathematics and Applications (1934) and Introductory College Mathematics and Applications (1937).
- Joseph and Juanita Pierce had one son, Joseph Alphonso Pierce, Jr. who was born in Marshall, Harrison County, Texas, on 13 August 1935.
- Juanita Pierce went on to earn a Master's Degree and a doctorate in Health and Physical Education from New York University.
- Pierce wanted to continue developing his mathematical skills and while working at Wiley College he undertook research for his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.
- Pierce was awarded a Ph.D. for his thesis A Study of a Universe of n Finite Populations with Application to Moment-Function Adjustments for Grouped Data in 1938.
- We note that when Pierce was awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1938 he became the sixth African American to be awarded such a degree.
- After the award of his Ph.D., in 1938 Pierce returned to Atlanta University where he was appointed professor of mathematics.
- In 1944 Pierce published On the Summation of Progressions Useful in Time Series Analysis.
- It was during his time at Atlanta University that Pierce did the work for which he is best known today.
- It was financed by the General Education Board, and Pierce served as research director of the project.
- In 1944 Pierce addressed a meeting in Atlanta attended by representatives of government, education, the National Negro Business League, and the National Negro Insurance Association.
- Pierce published the book Negro Business and Business Education, containing the results of the study, in 1947.
- On 1948 Pierce was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Chairman of the Department of Mathematics at Texas State University for Negroes.
- Thus there was a pent-up demand for graduate degrees, particularly in education, and when Pierce took over as dean of graduate studies, he faced burgeoning enrolment and faculty overloads.
- In the first ten years of Pierce's tenure as dean, Texas Southern University conferred a total of 2,287 master's degrees and 3,663 bachelor's degrees.
- In 1963, when the Manned Spacecraft Center was established near Houston, Pierce and B A Turner, Texas Southern University's dean of technology, were released from teaching duties for eighteen months to recruit minority engineers for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
- Pierce began to suffer poor health but served as President of Texas Southern University in 1966-67.
- This was an unfortunate time to be president with student sit-ins and protests, both about civil rights and the Vietnam War, making Pierce's task hard.
- Juanita George Pierce was a woman of integrity, honour, and intelligence, and although she will be missed by all who knew her, her spirit will live on through her legacy of success and through the many individuals whose lives she touched ...
- Pierce completed his internship at GW Hubbard Hospital of Meharry College of Medicine.
- Pierce entered the United States Army in 1962.
- Then, in 1970, Pierce received his Texas State medical license and entered into private practice with Anesthesia Consultants in San Antonio, and joined the American Medical Association.
Born 10 August 1902, Waycross, Ware County, Georgia, USA. Died 18 September 1969, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
African American, Origin Usa
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive