Sylvia Bozeman

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Sylvia Bozeman
BornSylvia Trimble Edit this on Wikidata
1947 Edit this on Wikidata
Camp Hill Edit this on Wikidata
Alma mater
OccupationMathematician Edit this on Wikidata

Sylvia D. Trimble Bozeman (née Sylvia Trimble, 1947) is an American mathematician and mathematics educator.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in rural Alabama, Bozeman attended segregated primary and secondary schools in Camp Hill, and was encouraged by her teachers and parents to continue her education.[2]

Bozeman did her undergraduate studies in mathematics at Alabama A&M University, during which she also worked on summer projects at NASA and Harvard University. She graduated in 1968 as salutatorian and moved with her husband Robert, also a mathematician, to non-segregated Vanderbilt University, where they both began their graduate studies. She earned a master's degree in 1970, despite not having studied much of the prerequisite coursework that her white classmates had.[1][2][3]

Doctorate and career[edit]

The Bozemans had a son and a daughter while Sylvia taught part-time at Vanderbilt and Tennessee State University and Robert finished his doctoral studies in mathematics.[1][2][3]

In 1974, Bozeman took a teaching position at Spelman College, a college for Black women in Atlanta, Georgia; Robert was then teaching at Morehouse College, another historically Black college. While there, she worked under Shirley Mathis McBay, Etta Zuber Falconer, and Gladys Glass, mathematicians who were pushing to improve Spelman's science and mathematics programs. In 1976, Bozeman took up graduate studies again at Emory University while continuing to hold a position at Spelman. She earned her doctorate in 1980 from Emory, under the supervision of Luis Kramarz and John Neuberger; her thesis was titled Representations of Generalized Inverses of Fredholm Operators.[1][2][3]

Sylvia Bozeman was one of the founders of Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE), a transition program for women entering graduate studies in the mathematical sciences.

Bozeman retired from Spelman in 2013, after serving the college for 39 years.[4]

Research and recognition[edit]

Her research there has focused on functional analysis and image processing, and has been funded by the Army Research Office, National Science Foundation, and NASA.[2] In 1997 she became Section Governor in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the first African-American to reach that level.[4] In 2012, she became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[5] In 2017, she was selected as a fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics in the inaugural class.[6] In 2019 she received the inaugural MAA Award for Inclusivity.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Notable Women in Mathematics, a Biographical Dictionary, edited by Charlene Morrow and Teri Perl, Greenwood Press, 1998. pp 17–21
  2. ^ a b c d e Warren, Wini (1999-01-01). Black Women Scientists in the United States. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253336031.
  3. ^ a b c Sylvia D. Trimble Bozeman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ a b Williams, Scott W., Sylvia T. Bozeman, Black Women in Mathematics, Mathematics Department, State University of New York at Buffalo, retrieved 2014-06-17
  5. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-01-19.
  6. ^ "Launch of the AWM Fellows Program". Association for Women in Mathematics. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  7. ^ Recipients 2019: Sylvia Trimble Bozeman MAA Award for Inclusivity