Person: Talbot (2), Walter R.
Walter R Talbot was an American mathematician who worked in group theory. He was the fourth African American to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Jerry Talbot, born on 14 September 1870 in Forest Depot, Virginia, USA, was a foreman working on street paving.
- We note that on at least one official document, Carrie's year of birth is given as 1877.
- parents and grandparents had attained their education in spite of limited opportunities for formal schooling.
- The two chemistry teachers were sincere and encouraging.
- Dr Gorgas regularly hired a coloured (term in vogue then) girl as departmental secretary.
- Our reaction to him was to keep scoring high on every test he gave.
- My high school Latin teacher, R N Taylor, provided guidance and encouragement through all four years.
- She was a brilliant scholar with her vast knowledge of the subject and the influences affecting it, and she was a masterful teacher, as indicated by the ease with which she had her students reading the original works and not the condensed booklets.
- Maybe she is the one who got me started on teaching without leaning on notes.
- The Pittsburgh Directory for 1929 has him living at his home address with the occupation of 'waiter' which is clearly the college-student job he referred to in the quote above.
- Professor M M Culver was my advisor for all seven years.
- Walter Talbot received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1931.
- In 1934 he received a Ph.D. in Mathematics, also from the University of Pittsburgh.
- A set of points which are permuted among themselves by the operators of the group are said to form a conjugate set of points.
- The complete system of points no two of which are conjugates under a given group may be said to define a fundamental region for the group.
- There are then g fundamental regions for a collineation group of order g.
- His doctoral degree is from the University of Pittsburgh in 1934 in geometric group theory.
- They were both members of Talbot's thesis committee.
- Talbot's research grew out of Klein's work on fundamental domains.
- A contemporary research program was the determination of fundamental domains of finite group actions on complex vector spaces.
- After the award of his doctorate, Talbot was appointed as an assistant professor at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri.
- Lincoln University began as Lincoln Institute in 1866 to educate African-Americans.
- It became Lincoln University in 1921 governed by a Board of Curators.
- It became an accredited four-year college of arts and sciences in 1934, the year Talbot was appointed, and graduate instruction was begun in the summer session of 1940.
- He is a member of Sigma Xi, national honorary scientific fraternity, and Pi Tau Phi, national scholastic society.
- He has served as advisor to the class of '38 since its freshman year.
- Talbot was promoted to associate professor and then to full professor.
- in post-college days there were colleagues such as President Sherman Scruggs of Lincoln University (Mo.), who tolerated differing points of view at a time when many presidents did not, and college teachers who knew not only their fields but also good procedures through familiarity with the literature of the very active accreditation organizations.
- Walter Richard Talbot Jr. became an oral surgeon and died on 22 December 2004.
- Two pieces of data from 1940 are as follows.
- He registered for the Draft on 16 October 1940 giving an address of 720 Lafayette Street, Jefferson City.
- We note that the house at 504 Lafayette Street was known as "The Monastery" in the 1930s and 1940s and was a popular gathering place for Lincoln University intellectuals and their guests.
- The local Jefferson City newspapers give a lot of information about Talbot.
- For example, in April 1941 he was building a five rooms, brick and tile home on Lafayette Street.
- Nathaniel A Sweets was a graduate of Lincoln University who became the publisher of the St Louis American newspaper which was a driving force in the St Louis campaign for equal rights, fair housing practices, and better schools for African-Americans.
- Raymond Kemp (1907-2002) was the Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, and coached varsity football, basketball and track and field at Lincoln University.
- On Friday 29 September 1944 it is reported that Walter R Talbot resigned as dean of men and became head of the department of mathematics.
- He was chairman of the University Defense council and registrar from 1946 to 1948.
- We also learn in the Jefferson City newspapers of Talbot's achievements at bridge.
- For example in November 1954 he was awarded the Pla-Mor trophy for high points and on Friday 24 May 1963 he won first place honours at the Pla-Mor Duplicate Bridge Club.
- In 1963 Talbot left Lincoln University when he succeeded Clarence Stephens (1917-2018), the ninth African-American to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics, as the Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Morgan State University.
- This University, founded as the Centenary Biblical Institute in 1867, was renamed Morgan College in 1890 and then moved to its present site in northeast Baltimore in 1917 after receiving a major grant from Andrew Carnegie.
- A private institution until 1939, the state of Maryland purchased the College to provide more opportunities for its African-Americans.
- When Talbot took up his position there, it was still named Morgan College and only in 1975, two years before he retired, did it become a university with the right to award doctorates.
- After moving to Baltimore, Talbot lived at 4902 Pilgrim Road.
- The situation for African-Americans began to improve during Talbot's time at Morgan College.
- Talbot was on the American Mathematical Society Committee on Legal Aid in 1977.
- More than any other single individual, it was Talbot's leadership, guidance, organizational skills, and networking skills that raised funds for the establishment of NAM.
- Mrs Cynthia Harvey, an assistant professor, said "Dr Talbot provided excellent leadership for the department by getting new faculty involved with student activities.
- He encouraged them to expand their horizons.
- He encouraged department members to work together for common goals." Dr Talbot also directed a summer institute in mathematics at Morgan for secondary school teachers.
- In 1967, he was named to the scientific council of the Maryland Academy of Sciences.
- Other honours included membership in Phi Beta Kappa.
- Dr Talbot was a member of the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, the Central Association of Science and Mathematics Teachers, the Maryland State Teachers Association, Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Society, Sigma Xi, Alpha Phi Alpha and the American and National bridge associations.
- Although Talbot did relatively little research after his thesis, concentrating on his teaching, he did submit a paper to the Seventy-Sixth Summer Meeting of the American Mathematical Society held in Pennsylvania State University in September 1971.
- Each algorithm consists of two parts.
- The second part consists of two operators constructed from the triplets of the system.
- For triple-systems of different orders there are 24 different numbers of pairs of operators.
- 30 is the number of triple-systems of the 7th order.
- Illustrative examples are given and theorems are proved.
- Talbot suffered kidney problems and retired in May 1977.
- On Monday 26 December 1977, he was an outpatient in the renal dialysis unit of Howard University Hospital, Washington D.C. when he suffered a heart attack and died.
- His funeral was held on Saturday 31 December 1977 at the Stewart Funeral Home, 4001 Benning Road, N.E., Washington, D.C. His interment was at Harmony Memorial Park, Hyattsville, Prince George's County, Maryland, which, although racially integtated, is mostly African-Americans.
- Various honour have been given to Talbot following his death.
- In 1978, the National Association of Mathematicians honoured Talbot at an "In Memorial" luncheon and, in the same year, Morgan State University named a scholarship in his honour.
- The Cox-Talbot Lecture was inaugurated in 1990 in honour of Elbert Frank Cox and Walter Richard Talbot.
- The first lecture was Some Milestones of the Past, Challenges of the Future delivered by Johnny L Houston, a co-founder of the National Association of Mathematicians, given during the annual National Association of Mathematicians Banquet as part of the Joint Mathematics Meeting at Louisville, Kentucky, in January 1990.
Born 13 December 1909, Pittsburgh, USA. Died 26 December 1977, Washington D.C., USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
African American, Group Theory, Origin Usa
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive