Cox-Talbot Lecture


What is the "Cox-Talbot" Lecture?

The Cox-Talbot Lecture was inaugurated in 1990 in honor of the first and fourth African-Americans to earn the doctoral degree in mathematics.

  • Elbert Frank Cox (1895 -- 1969) was the first; he graduated from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in 1925. In 1929, Elbert Cox moved to Howard University. He served as Chairman of the Mathematics Department from 1955-61, and remained at Howard until his retirement in 1965. In 1975, the Howard University Mathematics Department, at the time of the inauguration of its Ph.D. program, established the Elbert F. Cox Scholarship Fund for undergraduate mathematics majors to encourage young black students to study mathematics at the graduate level.
  • Walter Richard Talbot (1909 -- 1977) was the fourth; he graduated from the University of Pittsburg with a Ph.D. in 1935. In 1963, Walter Talbot moved to Morgan State University. He served as Chairman and Professor of Mathematics, and remained at Morgan State until his retirement in 1977. In 1978, NAM honored Walter Talbot "in memoria" at a luncheon and Morgan State University named a scholarship in his honor.

Each year NAM invites a mathematical scientist or educator who exemplifies the spirit of Cox and Talbot in both personal achievement and service to the mathematical community. The hour-long lecture takes place during the annual NAM Banquet as part of the Joint Mathematics Meetings.

Suggest the Next Cox-Talbot Lecturer!

We welcome nominations for future Cox-Talbot Lecturers! Please consider the following criteria:

  • Cox-Talbot Lecturers should be prepared to present a banquet talk to a general audience. The talk need not contain mathematical content, but it should address an issue of interest to our general membership.
  • We prefer speakers who have not given a Cox-Talbot Lecture in the past.
  • We seek a diversity of speakers. Please remember that our intended audience will feature a diversity of race/ethnicity, gender, age, and subject matter.

E-mail your nominations here:

Name of Nominee
Website of Nominee
E-Mail Address of Nominee

Past Cox-Talbot Lectures

2021: Washington D.C. Meeting

Talitha Washington (NSF/Howard University)

Leveraging Data Science at HBCUs to Advance Innovation

2020: Denver CO Meeting #1154

Roselyn Williams (Florida A&M University)

Bridging the Gaps in Undergraduate Mathematics Education

2019: Baltimore MD Meeting #1145

Talithia Williams (Harvey Mudd College)

A Seat at the Table: Equity and Social Justice in Mathematics Education

2018: San Diego CA Meeting #1135

Erica Walker (Teacher's College at Columbia University)

Hidden in Plain Sight: Mathematics Teaching and Learning Through a Storytelling Lens

2017: Atlanta GA Meeting #1125

Garikai Campbell (Morehouse College)

The Changing Higher Education Landscape: One Mathematician Turned Administrator's View

2016: Seattle WA Meeting #1116

Tanya A. Moore (Building Diversity in Science/Presidio Graduate School)

Why Mathematicians and Statisticians are Needed to Create Lasting Social Impact

2015: San Antonio TX Meeting #1106

Jacqueline Brannon Giles (HCCS Central College/Texas Southern University)

Mathematics: An Imitation of Life

2014: Baltimore MD Meeting #1096

Nathaniel Dean (Texas State University at San Marcos)

Solving Our Human Problems

2013: San Diego CA Meeting #1086

Genevieve Madeline Knight (Coppin State University)

The Rest of the Story

2012: Boston MA Meeting #1077

Sylvia T. Bozeman (Spelman College)

Creating Mathematical Scientists Among the Underrepresented

2011: New Orleans LA Meeting #1067

Robert Bozeman (Morehouse College)

Increasing the Pool of Underrepresented Mathematicians

2010: San Francisco CA Meeting #1056

Abdulalim Abdullah Shabazz (Grambling State University)

The Number Zero: Its Origin and Use

2009: Washington DC Meeting #1046

Leon Woodson (Morgan State University)

State of a M.A.D. Union

2008: San Diego CA Meeting #1035

Earl R. Barnes (Morgan State University)


2007: New Orleans LA Meeting #1023

Scott W. Williams (State University of New York at Buffalo)

Why "Mathematicians of the African Diaspora"?

2006: San Antonio TX Meeting #1014

Wade Ellis, Jr. (West Valley College)

Teaching Mathematics in the 21st Century: Anecdotes From the Past and Future

2005: Atlanta GA Meeting #1003

John W. Alexander Jr. (Miami-Dade College)

Intrinsically Interesting Mathematical Intrigue (Why I love Mathematics)

2004: Phoenix AZ Meeting #993

J. Ernest Wilkins (Clark Atlanta University)


2003: Baltimore MD Meeting #983

Raymond L. Johnson (University of Maryland)

The Maryland Experience: Building a Community of African American Graduate Students

2002: San Diego CA Meeting #973

Gloria Conyers Hewitt (University of Montana)

The Right Train

2001: New Orleans LA Meeting #??

Speaker unknown

2000: Washington DC Meeting #950

Speaker unknown

1999: San Antonio TX Meeting #939

Johnny L. Houston (Elizabeth State University)

The End of One Era, the Dawn of Another

1998: Baltimore MD Meeting #930

Nathaniel Pollard, Jr.

Some 21st Century Challenges and Opportunities for Minorities in Mathematics, Science and Engineering

1997: San Diego CA Meeting #918

Charles B. Bell (San Diego State University)

Some of My Favorite Mathematicians

1996: Orlando FL Meeting #908

Evelyn Boyd Granville (University of Texas at Tyler)

Some Perspective about Mathematics and Mathematics Education

1995: San Francisco CA Meeting #897

William Hawkins (University of District of Columbia)

Some Perspectives About Underrepresented American Minorities in Mathematics

1994: Cincinnati, OH Meeting #889

Etta Z. Falconer (Spelman College)

Challenges and Opportunities for Minorities in Science and Mathematics

1993: San Antonio TX Meeting #878

No Cox-Talbot Lecture

1992: Baltimore MD Meeting #871

Gloria Gilmer (Math-Tech. Inc.)

Ethomathematics: A natural focus for NAM

1991: San Francisco CA Meeting #863

No Cox-Talbot Lecture

1990: Louisville KY Meeting #854

Johnny L. Houston (Elizabeth State University)

Some Milestones of the Past, Challenges of the Future