Jonathan D. Farley

Jonathan D Farley

Guyanese-Jamaican Jonathan D. Farley is an associate professor at Morgan State University.  In 2005 Seed Magazine named Dr. Farley one of “15 people who have shaped the global conversation about science in 2005.”

Jonathan D Farley
Jonathan D Farley

Dr. Jonathan David Farley has been a Visiting Professor of Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), a Science Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Mathematics at Harvard University, and a Visiting Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Farley graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1991 with the second-highest grade point average in his graduating class. (He earned 29 A’s and 3 A-’s.) While there, he won, among other awards, Harvard’s Wendell Prize, for the “most promising and catholic [small ‘c’] sophomore scholar.” He obtained his doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University in 1995, after winning Oxford’s highest mathematics awards, the Senior Mathematical Prize and Johnson University Prize, in 1994. In 2001-2002, he was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar to the United Kingdom. He was one of only four Americans to win this award in 2001-2002.

He received tenure at Vanderbilt University in 2003, but fled Tennessee after receiving death threats from supporters of the founder of the Ku Klux Klan.

Dr. Farley is the 2004 recipient of the Harvard Foundation’s Distinguished Scientist of the Year Award, a medal presented on behalf of the president of Harvard University in recognition of “outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of mathematics.” The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts (home to both Harvard University and MIT) officially declared March 19, 2004 to be “Dr. Jonathan David Farley Day.” In 2004, Dr. Farley was recruited to serve as Head of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at The University of the West Indies (Jamaica).

As if his career is not exciting enough, his work applying mathematics to counter-terrorism has been profiled in The Chronicle of Higher Education, in Science News and Science News Online, in The Economist Magazine, in USA Today, on Fox News Television, and on Air America Radio. He is Chief Scientist of Phoenix Mathematics, Inc., a company that develops mathematical solutions to homeland security-related problems. He has had face-to-face meetings discussing math-for-counter-terrorism with the Jamaican Minister of National Security, a former Director of the US National Security Agency and a former Deputy Director of the CIA, the director of Homeland Security for the Port of Los Angeles, a former US ambassador to the European Union, a former governor of the US state of New Mexico, a US Air Force general, two US Navy admirals and a former US Director of National Intelligence.

He founded Hollywood Math and Science Film Consulting. He wrote to the staff of Numb3rs, suggesting that they, in conjunction with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, create homework assignments that teachers could use focusing on the math and science in the show. Nine months later, Numb3rs inaugurated the “We All Use Math Every Day” program, with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Texas Instruments. This program creates homework assignments that teachers can use focusing on the math and science in the show. Dr. Farley also used his idea with Dr. Tony Harkin for Flatland the Movie, starring Martin Sheen, Michael York, and Kristen Bell.

Jonathan Farley has also worked with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering and the Algebra Project.  Jonathan Farley co-founded the consulting group Axum Educational Solutions.   He started Peren Linn Fashion, a line of math themed clothes for girls, with Frau Peren Linn and Girls Equal, a nonprofit with Ms. Mira Alden, to ignite interest in girls in the area of higher mathematics.

He is also involved with Equations of Peace which is a STEM cross cultural initiative.”

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Jeanette Jo Epps

Jeanette Epps

African-American Jeanette Jo Epps is an engineer, an CIA intelligence officer, and current NASA astronaut.

Jeanette Epps
Jeanette Epps

After graduating, Epps worked in research at Ford Motor Company, then as a Technical Intelligence Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). She was selected in July 2009 as 1 of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. She graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training that included intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training.

Epps earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from LeMoyne College in 1992, as well as a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1994 and 2000, respectively. She is the author of several highly cited journal articles describing her research involving extensive testing of composite swept-tip beams, comparative analysis of analytical models and experimental data for shape memory alloys, and the application of shape memory alloy actuators for helicopter rotor blade tracking.

At Ford Motor Company she developed magnetostrictive actuators to reduce vibrations that enter a vehicle via the suspension control arms. Dr. Epps also investigated automobile collision location detection and countermeasure systems, which resulted in the granting of a U.S. Patent.

She was a three time recipient of the Exceptional Performance Award (2003, 2004 and 2008) while she was at the CIA. Dr. Epps is a member of AIAA and the Society for Science and the Public. Dr. Epps is the first Ph.D. graduate of the University of Maryland’s Dept. of Aerospace Engineering to become a NASA Astronaut.

Gregory Lowe II

Gregory Lowe II

African-American Gregory Lowe II is the CEO of Lowekey Media, a mobile technology agency that uses digital thinking to reach a multicultural audience.

Gregory Lowe (Photo: Gregory Lowe)
Gregory Lowe II (Photo: Gregory Lowe II)

In 2009 he developed the award-winning iPhone app iFLYPT, an app which allows you to personalize and remix music on your iPhone.  Lowe negotiated with Sony, Warner, Universal, and EMI record labels, and fellow music publishers, Sony/ATV, Warner-Chappell, Universal, and EMI, to obtain licensing deals that ensured that his app could offer millions of songs to its users.

In 2012 he released Songbooth, an app that allows users to follow, comment, like, and play music from other users. The app was downloaded over 8+ million times worldwide. He was included in Fast Company Magazine’s Most Creative People in Business list of 2014.

In the quest to provide a better user experience for users, he founded Fitbox, a subscription box and lifestyle brand that is “………Lululemon quality at a lower price point.” (Source: FastCompany).  He is using designers from DKNY and Fitbox items are all designed in house. The Fitbox activewear will fall into three categories: basic (for regular workouts), novelty (for lighter sweating), and athleisure, which could just as easily be worn to a light day at the gym or the farmer’s market.

Lowekey Media has also built Hoodcons (emojis from the streets), and Mumento, a mobile application and tool for users to embed video, music, pictures, and stop-motion graphics into a frame that they can then share with their entire social graph.

Lowe is a strong proponent for technology and is often a keynote speaker at technology events.

James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

American James Earl Jones was a stutterer who overcame his stutter to become the memorable voice in the ‘Star Wars‘ series.  In a career of more than 60 years became known as “one of America’s most distinguished and versatile” actors and “one of the greatest actors in American history.”

James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones

Since his Broadway debut in 1957, Jones has won many awards, including a Tony Award and Golden Globe Award for his role in ‘The Great White Hope’. Jones has won three Emmy Awards, including two in the same year in 1991, and he also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the film version of ‘The Great White Hope’. He is also known for his voice roles as Darth Vader in the ‘Star Wars’ film series, and Mufasa in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ as well as many other film, stage, and television roles.

As a child Jones had a stutter. In his episode of ‘Biography’, he said he overcame the affliction through poetry, public speaking, and acting, although it lasted for several years. A pre-med major in college, he went on to serve in the United States Army during the Korean War, before pursuing a career in acting.

On November 12, 2011, he received an Honorary Academy Award.

Hazel Scott

Hazel Scott

Trinidadian Hazel Scott was a jazz and classical pianist and singer; she also performed as herself in several films. She was prominent as a jazz singer throughout the 1930s and 1940s. In 1950, she became the first woman of color to have her own TV show, The Hazel Scott Show, featuring a variety of entertainment. To evade the political persecution of artists in the McCarthy era, Scott moved to Paris in the late 1950s and performed in France, not returning to the United States until 1967.

Hazel Scott age 3 or 4
Hazel Scott age 3 or 4

Scott was awarded scholarships to study classical piano at the Juilliard School from the age of eight. As a teenager, she performed piano and trumpet with her mother’s “Alma Long Scott” all-girl jazz band, which sometimes featured Lil Hardin Armstrong. By the age of 16, Hazel Scott regularly performed for radio programs for the Mutual Broadcasting System, gaining a reputation as the “hot classicist”. In the mid-1930s, she also performed at the Roseland Dance Hall with the Count Basie Orchestra. Her early musical theatre appearances in New York included the Cotton Club Revue of 1938, Sing Out the News and The Priorities of 1942.

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Scott performed jazz, blues, ballads, popular (Broadway songs and boogie-woogie) and classical music in various nightclubs. From 1939 to 1943 she was a leading attraction at both the downtown and uptown branches of Café Society. Her performances created national prestige for the practice of “swinging the classics”. By 1945, Scott was earning $75,000 ($985,813 today) a year.

In addition to Lena Horne, Scott was one of the first Afro-Caribbean women to garner respectable roles in major Hollywood pictures. She performed as herself in several features, notably ‘I Dood It’ (MGM 1943), ‘Broadway Rhythm‘ (MGM 1944), with Lena Horne and in the otherwise all-white cast ‘The Heat’s On‘ (Columbia 1943), ‘Something to Shout About’ (Columbia 1943), and ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ (Warner Bros 1945). In the 1940s, in addition to her film appearances, Scott was featured in Café Society’s ‘From Bach to Boogie-Woogie’ concerts in 1941 and 1943 at Carnegie Hall.

She was the first Afro-Caribbean to have her own television show, The Hazel Scott Show, which premiered on the DuMont Television Network on July 3, 1950. Variety reported that “Hazel Scott has a neat little show in this modest package”, its “most engaging element” being Scott herself.

Scott continued to play occasionally in nightclubs, while also appearing in daytime television until the year of her death. She made her television acting debut in 1973, on the ABC daytime soap opera ‘One Life to Live‘, performing a wedding song at the nuptials of her “onscreen cousin”, Carla Gray Hall, portrayed by Ellen Holly.