HomeLearning CenterEvelyn Boyd Granvile, Barrier-Breaking Mathematician, Dies at 99

Evelyn Boyd Granvile, Barrier-Breaking Mathematician, Dies at 99

Originally published by Brian Murphy for The Washington Post

Evelyn Boyd Granville, one of the first Black women to receive a doctorate in mathematics from an American university and whose groundbreaking work in computers included helping calculate orbit trajectories and lunar-landing scenarios for the space program, died June 27 at her home in Silver Spring, Md. She was 99.

The death was announced by a funeral home in Washington. No cause was given.

Dr. Granville specialized in the analysis and interplay of complex equations and variables, a valuable expertise as NASA looked to harness early mainframe computers for an edge in the space race with the Soviet Union.

Recruited in 1956 by IBM to program a data-processing unit, Dr. Granville was part of the company’s team working with NASA after its founding in 1958, a year after the U.S.S.R. launched the Sputnik satellite.

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