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Rudy Horne

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Rudy Horne
Rudy L. Horne, photographed by Aubrey Gemignani in 2016
Rudy Lee Horne
EducationCrete-Monee High School
Alma materUniversity of Colorado Boulder (PhD)
University of Oklahoma
Known forNonlinear optics
Hidden Figures
Scientific career
InstitutionsMorehouse College
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Florida State University
California State University, East Bay
ThesisCollision-Induced Timing Jitter and Four-Wave Mixing in Wavelength-Division Multiplexing Soliton Systems (2001)
Doctoral advisorMark J. Ablowitz[1]

Rudy Lee Horne (1968 – 2017) was an American mathematician and professor of mathematics at Morehouse College. He worked on dynamical systems, including nonlinear waves. He was the mathematics consultant for the film Hidden Figures.[2]

Early life and education


Horne grew up in the south side of Chicago.[3] His father worked at Sherwin-Williams.[4] He graduated from Crete-Monee High School.[2][5] He completed a double degree in mathematics and physics at the University of Oklahoma in 1991.[6][3] He joined the University of Colorado Boulder for his postgraduate studies, earning a master's in physics in 1994 and in mathematics in 1996. He completed his doctorate, Collision induced timing jitter and four-wave mixing in wavelength division multiplexing soliton systems, in 2001 which was supervised by Mark J. Ablowitz.[1][7] He was the first African American to graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Applied Mathematics.[8]

Career and research


After completing his PhD, Horne had a position at the California State University, East Bay.[2] before working as postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with Chris Jones.[9] Horne joined Florida State University in 2005.[8][10] Horne joined Morehouse College in 2010 and was promoted to associate professor of mathematics in 2015.[2] He continued to study four-wave mixing.[11] His work considered nonlinear optical phenomena.[9][12][13] He uncovered effects in parity-time symmetric systems.[14]

Horne was recommended to serve as a mathematics consultant for Hidden Figures by Morehouse College.[15][16] He worked closely with Theodore Melfi ensured the actors knew how to pronounce "Euler's".[2][17][18][19][20][21] He spent four months working with 20th Century Fox.[8] In particular, Horne worked with Taraji P. Henson on the mathematics she required for her role as Katherine Johnson.[22][23] He taught the cast how to get excited by mathematics.[24] His handwriting is on screen during a scene at the beginning of the film where Katherine Johnson solves a quadratic equation.[3] He appeared on the interview series In the Know.[25] Horne completed a Mathematical Association of America Maths Fest tour where he discussed the mathematics in Hidden Figures, focusing on the calculations that concerned Glenn's orbit around in 1962.[26][27] He appeared on NPR's Closer Look.[28]

He died on December 11, 2017, after surgery for a torn aorta.[29][30][2] The University of Colorado Boulder established a Rudy Lee Horne Memorial Fellowship in his honour.[8][31] He was described as a "rock star", inspiring generations of black students.[32][22] He was awarded the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) lifetime achievement award posthumously in 2018,[33] and was recognized by Mathematically Gifted & Black as a Black History Month 2018 Honoree.[4]


  1. ^ a b Rudy Horne at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Rudy L. Horne dies at 49; Chicago native checked the math in 'Hidden Figures'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  3. ^ a b c McCleland, Jacob. "OU Graduate Makes Sure "Hidden Figures" Math Adds Up". Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  4. ^ a b "Rudy L. Horne, Jr. - Mathematically Gifted & Black". Mathematically Gifted & Black. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  5. ^ "Crete-Monee School District, IL - CMMS Celebrates Black History Month". www.cm201u.org. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  6. ^ "Math, Movies and OU". www.ou.edu. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  7. ^ "Rudy Horne, Jr. - Mathematician of the African Diaspora". www.math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  8. ^ a b c d "Honoring Dr. Rudy Horne". Applied Mathematics. 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  9. ^ a b "In Memoriam: Rudy L. Horne". Dynamical Systems. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  10. ^ "Rudy Horne's Math Page". www.math.fsu.edu. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  11. ^ Horne, Rudy L.; Jones, Christopher K. R. T.; Schäfer, Tobias (2008). "The Suppression of Four-Wave Mixing by Random Dispersion". SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics. 69 (3): 690–703. doi:10.1137/070680539. JSTOR 40233639.
  12. ^ Horne, Rudy L. (2011-05-11). "Geometric methods and optical phenomena: Wave stability in certain optical devices" (PDF). Brown. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  13. ^ "Joint Mathematics Meetings". jointmathematicsmeetings.org. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  14. ^ "Rudy Horne's Passing | Department of Mathematics". math.unc.edu. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  15. ^ Esser, Mark (2017-04-27). "Plotting a Path from NASA Grids to NIST Graphics". NIST. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  16. ^ Miller, Gerri (2018-06-20). "Meet the people behind the film Hidden Figures". Science News for Students. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  17. ^ Hunt, Fern (2017). "Hidden Figures" (PDF). AMS. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  18. ^ "Exploring the Math in 'Hidden Figures'". Inside Science. 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  19. ^ "Being Counted: Professor Talks 'Hidden Figures' and Minority Women in Math | American University Washington D.C." American University. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  20. ^ "Morehouse Magazine Special Anniversary Issue". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  21. ^ "Rudy L. Horne | BFI". www.bfi.org.uk. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  22. ^ a b "This "Hidden Figures" Mathematician Inspired Generations Of Black Students". dose. 2018-01-26. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  23. ^ "DO THE MATH - An Amazing True Story Plus A Dedicated Team Adds Up To "Hidden Figures" - Producers Guild of America". www.producersguild.org. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  24. ^ "On 'Hidden Figures' Set, NASA's Early Years Take Center Stage". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  25. ^ In The Know (2017-08-14), In The Know: Meet Dr. Rudy Horne, retrieved 2018-09-09
  26. ^ "Invited Addresses | Mathematical Association of America". www.maa.org. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  27. ^ "Hidden Figures: Bringing Math, Physics, History, and Race to Hollywood -Free Movie Screening, Colloquium & Reception | MCAIM". mcaim.math.lsa.umich.edu. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  28. ^ "Closer Look: 'Hidden Figures'; Women In Hip-Hop; And More | 90.1 FM WABE". 90.1 FM WABE. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  29. ^ College, Morehouse. "Morehouse College | House News". www.morehouse.edu. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  30. ^ "In Memoriam | Mathematical Association of America". www.maa.org. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  31. ^ "Rudy Lee Horne Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Applied Mathematics Fund | CU Boulder | Giving to CU". giving.cu.edu. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  32. ^ "Rudy Horne: Math rock star remembered - US Black Engineer". US Black Engineer. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  33. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award". www.nam-math.org. Retrieved 2018-09-09.