Gloria Ford Gilmer

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Gloria Ford Gilmer

1999

Born:

Birthplace:

URL:
email: [email protected]

Gloria Ford earned a B.S. in mathematics from Morgan State
University where she was a student of Clarence
Stephens
. Then she earned an M.A. in mathematics from
the University of Pennsylvania and taught it six different HBCUs.
After marriage and children an working outside of the university
for a few years, Gloria Ford Gilmer earned a Ph.D. in curriculum
and instruction from Marquette University. She has taught in the
public schools and at several colleges and universities. Dr. Gilmer
was the first Black female on the board of governors of the Mathematical
Association of America (1980-82). She has also served as a Research
associate with the U.S. Department of Education. She was the first
woman to give the National Association of Mathematician’s Cox-Talbot Address
.

Dr. Gilmer is a leader in the field Ethnomathematics, and she
was co-founder (1985), the first president of, and serves on the
Executive Board of International
Study Group on Ethnomathematics
(ISGEm).

Click to read Dr. Gilmer’s new paper: Using
Technology to Explore Mathematical Patterns in African American
Hairstyles

What is ethnomathematics?

The term was coined by Ubiratan D’Ambrosio to describe the
mathematical practices of identifiable cultural groups. It is
sometimes used specifically for small-scale indigenous societies,
but in its broadest sense the “ethno” prefix can refer
to any group — national societies, labor communities, religious
traditions, professional classes, and so on. Mathematical practices
include not only formal symbolic systems, but also spatial designs,
practical construction techniques, calculation methods, measurement
in time and space, specific ways of reasoning and inferring, and
other cognitive and material activities. There is now ample evidence
that people in all societies devise their own way of doing mathematics,
independantly of their technological level or what they may have
learned in school. ISGEm strives to increase our understanding
of the cultural diversity of mathematical practices, and to apply
this knowledge to education and development..

Currently Gloria Gilmer is president of Math-Tech, a corporation
that translates research findings into effective programs of mathematics
education, especially for women and minorities.

I earned my master’s degree from The University of Pennsylvania
and doctorate from Marquette University. I spent a year in the
doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I was
very strong there. I made all A’s. However, a marriage, children,
and the necessity to earn a living caused me to leave U.W.

It should be noted that even though her Ph.D. is in Education
Administration, she is co-author (under her maiden name Gloria
C. Ford) of mathematics research articles. These were the first
two
(non-Ph.D. thesis) articles published by an African
American woman
:

(with Luna I. Mishoe)
On the limit of the coefficients of the eigenfunction series
associated with a certain non-self-adjoint differential system
, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 7 (1956), 260–266.

(with Luna I. Mishoe)
On the uniform convergence of a certain eigenfunction series
, Pacific J. Math. 6 (1956), 271–278.

I had help from Gloria Gilmer in preparing this web page.

back to Black
Women in the Mathematical Sciences

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