national association of mathematicians
THE J ERNEST WILKINS LECTURE
WHAT IS THE J ERNEST WILKINS LECTURE?
The J Ernest Wilkins Lecture series was inaugurated in 1994 during NAM's Undergraduate MATHFest IV at North Carolina A&T. It is named in honor of J Ernest Wilkins, Jr. (November 27, 1923 -- May 12, 2011)*, an internationally recognized nuclear scientist, mechanical engineer and mathematician.
J Ernest Wilkins was known in the press as the "Negro Genius." Wilkins received his B.S. degree as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate at the age of 16, his M.S. degree at age 17, and his Ph.D. degree at the age of 19.
Although he has been highly praised as a superb practitioner of his crafts, Wilkins is also widely recognized and acclaimed as a highly productive scholar, having published more than 80 journal articles and having produced an additional 22 unpublished reports for the Atomic Energy Commission. Wilkins is the only African American mathematician-engineer elected as a Fellow to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The inaugural lecture was given by Wilkins himself. The lecture is to be given annually at the Undergraduate MATHFest, a conference for which Wilkins was a frequent attendee.
* The wiki page incorrectly provides the first name "Jesse" for J Ernest Wilkins, but does provide a useful summary of some of J's accomplishments.
Suggest the Next J Ernest Wilkins Lecturer
We welcome nominations for future Wilkins Lecturers! Please consider the following criteria:
Fill out the nomination form here.
Past NAM J Ernest Wilkins Lectures