With thanks to the funding assistance of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for archival processing of the collections of African American’s in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the Amistad Research Center is pleased to introduce the Albert Turner Bharucha-Reid Collection.
Dr. Albert Turner Bharucha-Reid, (November 13, 1927 – February 26, 1958) was a distinguished mathematician who specialized in probability theory. In 1949, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University where he studied Biology and Mathematics. He attended graduate school at Iowa State University from 1949 to 1950 and at the University of Chicago from 1950 to 1953. He also held academic positions at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of California-Berkley.
He began his career at the University of Oregon from 1956-1961. In 1961, he began working at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan where he eventually rose to the position of Director of the Center for Research in Probability and later the Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. From 1973-1974 and then from 1981-1983, he worked at the Georgia Institute of Technology as a professor of mathematics. In 1983, he began working at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) as a professor of mathematics and physics. He later served as the director of the Center of Computational Sciences at Atlanta University until his death in 1985. He published over 65 papers and articles and several books during his career. He was a member of professional organizations such as the American Mathematics Society, the Society for Mathematical Biology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He also served as editor or associate editor for several mathematical and scientific peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Integral Equations and the Journal of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
Through his professional correspondence, we see that he advanced the research in his field of probability theory, as well as in physics. He collaborated with other mathematicians and scientists all over the world and kept close tabs on their careers. In addition, he frequently requested the writings and manuscripts from colleagues and granted requests for his own writings and publications. He served as a visiting professor and lecturer at many institutions including the University of Wisconsin and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Madras, India. Dr. Bharucha-Reid also mentored at least thirteen Ph.D. students. Because of his stature in the field of mathematics, many professionals and students sought out his expertise and advice or his recommendation for professorship positions at universities around the world. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science from Syracuse University in 1984.
In addition to his academic work, he worked on an Air Force project researching stochastic theory of epidemics and worked as the principle investigator projects conducted by the Army Research Office and for the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Bharucha-Reid also worked to create opportunities and increase recognition for minorities and women in the field of mathematics and within academia overall. To that capacity, he served on the American Mathematical Association’s Affirmative Action Committee and as Chairman of the Minority Graduate Education Committee of the Graduate Record Examinations Board.
The Albert Turner Bharucha-Reid Papers is just one of Amistad’s collections that help to highlight the historically understated contributions of African Americans in STEM fields.
Image from the Albert T. Bharucha-Reid Papers. Images from Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.