STEM Pioneers

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Legacy STEM Pioneers – Benjamin Banneker

Born free in 1731 Maryland, Benjamin Banneker was one of the mostly self-taught STEM pioneers who was also a respected mathematician and astronomer, according to PBS. His maternal grandmother and brief education at an integrated Quaker school are credited with complementing his early desire for knowledge. Using his own calculations and designs, Banneker constructed his own striking clock that ran for 40 years, until it was destroyed by a fire. While Banneker excelled in many areas, he was known for using mathematical abilities to decipher his own celestial maps or ephemeris which he published in almanacs that he authored during the late 18th century. Learn more about Benjamin Banneker.

Today’s STEM Leaders – Gloria Gilmer

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Gloria Gilmer is an accomplished mathematician who founded the International Study Group on Ethnomathematics (ISGEm), which comprises the distinctive processes utilized by people in different environments to implement mathematics during routine activities. According to Agnes Scott College, Gilmer received a B.A. from Morgan State University and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in mathematics, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Marquette University. Serving on the Mathematical Association of America’s board of governors from 1980-82, she was the first black woman to hold the position. Gilmer has led the efforts of many organizations to research the relationship women and minorities have with math. Learn more about Gloria Gilmer.