Norfolk State University
Ethnicity: African American
Year of Birth: 1933
Place of Birth: Republic of Panama (U.S. Citizen since 1965)
Dept. of Mathematics
Norfolk, VA 23504-3989
(757) 823-8820 Voice
(757) 823-8427 Fax
PhD Institution: Ohio State University, 1969
Dissertation Title: Variations on the H(,p) problem for finite p-groups
MS Institution: University of Chicago, 1959
BA Institution: Talladega College, 1957
Additional Study: J.D., Suffolk University Law School (MA), 1985
Guy Theodore Hogan was born and grew up in a West Indian enclave in the Republic of Panama. His father was Barbadian, his mother was Jamaican, and he was the tenth in a family of eleven children. From quite early on he was an avid reader, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and intellectual challenges, irrespective of the source. Thus, he devoured Zane Grey westerns, and Ellery Queen mysteries, along with Perry Mason cases, and snippets from Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid and Newton. And while he routinely finished each school year at the head of his class, he did not formulate a firm plan for going to college. After all, many bright young people (and there were many) from his community had never gone beyond high school, and the local opportunities for higher Education were somewhat limited. It was only after high school, when he was prodded by his brother, Lloyd, who had gone on to the University of Chicago, and was now teaching economics at Talladega College, that he applied for and received a scholarship to attend Talladega.
Mathematics was not Hogan's major interest when he started Talladega. He had entertained thoughts of majoring in philosophy. But the mathematics professor (the only professor in the one-person department), Dr. Eric Nussbaum, was a Great Books trained scholar, with wide-ranging interests. Before taking the Calculus I course, for example, his students participated in a seminar based on Dedekind's "Zahlentheorie." While they do not claim to have fully understood it then, they were, nonetheless, sensitized to some of the deep problems underlying the foundations of mathematics. These kinds of exposures led to Hogan's decision to become a mathematics major. Mathematics now was seen as more than mere calculations and drudgery. It became a part of philosophy.
It was also at Talladega that he developed a sustained interest in modern poetry, classical music, modern jazz, and literature. Indeed, he often tells his classes that mathematics is a highly "language intensive" subject, which cannot be mastered without some command of language. Hogan's bachelor's thesis was "On the Existence of Solutions to Ordinary Differential Equations." After Talladega he went on to earn an M.S. from the University of Chicago, and later, a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, where he studied with Drs. Wolfgang Kappe, and Hans Zassenhaus, writing his dissertation in the field of finite groups and their automorphisms. He has published papers in this field and continues to work in this area, with a burgeoning new interest in the area of error-correcting codes, and computational group theory.
Hogan has taught at Talladega College, Central State University (Ohio), State University of New York at Oneonta and at Binghamton, University of Massachusetts at Boston, and now at Norfolk State University. While at UMass, he served for a while as Special Assistant to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. During his tenure in Boston, he also earned a J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School, was admitted to the Massachusetts bar, and practiced law, primarily defending indigents in criminal cases. After nineteen years at UMass he returned to his roots with the historically Black colleges and universities, taking a position as Professor of Mathematics at Norfolk State University.
Hogan is also seeking ways to clarify legal doctrines through mathematics. He has presented papers on such topics as "The Evolution of the Common Law Towards Fairness," "Comparative Negligence Converges to No-Fault," "Infinite Series and the Income Tax," "A Legal System as a Pseudo-Metric Space," and "Duality in Legal Systems." He is a member of the Virginia bar and maintains a part-time legal consulting practice. Hogan is now an American citizen, married to Dr. Paula Tucker-Hogan, Professor of Secondary Education at Norfolk State University. They have three sons.