25 Facts About David Blackwell


David Harold Blackwell was an American statistician and mathematician who made significant contributions to game theory, probability theory, information theory, and statistics.


David Blackwell was the first African American inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, the first African American tenured faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, and the seventh African American to receive a Ph.


David Blackwell wrote one of the first Bayesian statistics textbooks, his 1969 Basic Statistics.


David Harold Blackwell was born on April 24,1919, in Centralia, Illinois, to Mabel Johnson Blackwell, a full-time homemaker, and Grover Blackwell, an Illinois Central Railroad worker.


An exceptional student, David Blackwell graduated high school in 1935 at the age of sixteen.


David Blackwell entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the intent to study elementary school mathematics and become a teacher.


David Blackwell was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, a black fraternity that housed him for his full six years as a student.


David Blackwell earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics in three years in 1938 and, a year later, a master's degree in 1939.


David Blackwell was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics in 1941 at the age of 22.


At the time, David Blackwell was the seventh African American to earn a Ph.


David Blackwell completed one year of postdoctoral research as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 1941 after receiving a Rosenwald Fellowship, which was a fund to aid black scholars.


David Blackwell, who believed that von Neumann was just being polite and not genuinely interested in his work, did not approach him until von Neumann himself asked him again a few months later.


David Blackwell felt at the time that a black professor would be limited to teaching at black colleges.


David Blackwell was offered a post at Southern University at Baton Rouge, which he held in from 1942 to 1943, followed by a year as an Instructor at Clark College in Atlanta.


David Blackwell joined the Mathematics Department at Howard University in 1944.


In 1947 while at Howard, David Blackwell published the paper "Conditional Expectation and Unbiased Sequential Estimation", which outlined a technique that later became known as the Rao-David Blackwell theorem.


From 1948 to 1950, Blackwell spent his summers at RAND Corporation with Meyer A Girshick and other mathematicians exploring the game theory of duels.


In 1954 Girshick and David Blackwell published Theory of Games and Statistical Decisions.


David Blackwell took a position at the University of California, Berkeley as a visiting professor in 1954, and was hired as a full professor in the newly created Department of Statistics in 1955.


David Blackwell bridged topology and game theory via a game-theoretic proof of Kuratowski's theorem in 1967.


David Blackwell wrote one of the first Bayesian textbooks, his 1969 Basic Statistics.


David Blackwell spent the rest of his career at UC Berkeley, retiring in 1988 at age 70, which at that time was the mandatory retirement age.


David Blackwell married Annlizabeth Madison, a 1934 graduate of Spelman College, on December 27,1944.


David Blackwell died of complications from a stroke on July 8,2010, at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, California.


David Blackwell made the following statement about his values and work in an 1983 interview for a project called "Mathematical People":.