Nothing is Impossible to the Willing Mind

In honor of Black History Month, I want to educate you guys on black inventors who made this world a more advanced and better place.

First, I want to inform you guys about Mrs. Shirley Ann Jackson. Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson has accomplished numerous firsts for African American women. She was the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to receive a Ph.D. in theoretical solid state physics, the first black woman to be elected president and then chairman of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); to be president of a major research university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute inNew York; and to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  Dr. Jackson was also both the first African American and the first woman to chair the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She is a leading developer of Caller ID and Call Waiting on telephones.

Second, I want to introduce you guys to Marie Van Brittan Brown. Mrs. Browns invention influenced modern home security systems that we still use today. Her original prototype was comprised of peepholes, a camera, monitors, a two-way microphone, and an alarm button that could be pressed to contact the police immediately. Her work inspired by the security risk that her home faced as well as the high crime rate; with her invention she was determined to keep her home safe. The patent for the invention was filed in 1966 by Marie Van Brittan Brown and her husband, and was granted on December 2, 1969. Brown’s invention gained her an award from the National Scientists Committee and an interview with the New York Times on December 6, 1969.

Lastly, I want to educate you all on Philip Emeagwali. Philip is a computer scientist who is best known for the use of the connection machine and 65,536 microprocessors to achieve 3.1 billion calculations per second, which is known as the fastest computational record at the time. Emeagwali was born in Akure, Nigeria. He was enrolled for high school at Christ the King College in Onitsha, Nigeria, but had to drop out after just one year before due to financial issues. Instead, he we would work and studied on his own; and in 1973 he passed a high school equivalency test that was taken at the University of London. Emeagwali was awarded a scholarship to study at Oregon State University where he earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics in 1977. He later got a  M.S. in environmental engineering from Howard University 1981, an M.S. in ocean, coastal, and marine engineering from the George Washington University in 1986; and an M.S. in mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1986. In 1987 he began working on his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. In 1989 Emeagwali was awarded the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers’ Gordon Bell Prize.

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