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Special Session: “Notes of a Native Son”: The Legacy of Dr. Abdulalim A. Shabazz (1927-2014) Abstracts

Saturday, August 8, 1:00 PM - 4:50 PM, Marriott Wardman Park, Delaware B

Dr. Abdulalim A. Shabazz was a distinguished mathematician who is credited for mentoring over half of all African-Americans with a doctorate in Mathematics. “Notes of a Native Son” is a title of a collection of essays by James Baldwin. This title is fitting for a session honoring the life of Dr. Shabazz for three reasons. First, Dr. Shabazz is native to Washington, DC as he spent many years of his life there. Second, this session will feature various speakers whose careers were directly transformed by Dr. Shabazz’s mentorship. Third, this session will also include Dr. Shabazz’s peers who will discuss his active role in the mathematical community.

Monica Jackson,American University
Talitha M. Washington, Howard University

Dr. Abdulalim A. Shabazz—Statistically Significant!

1:00 PM - 1:20 PM
Monica Jackson, American University

In this talk, I will discuss the mentoring efforts of Dr. Shabazz and the impact of his work on changing the face of mathematics and statistics. I will also discuss my work as a spatial statistician and how Dr. Shabazz helped shaped my own career path.

“In a Beautiful Way”: Lessons for Mathematics Education from Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz

1:30 PM - 1:50 PM
Erica Walker, Teachers College, Columbia University

In this talk I describe and discuss lessons from Dr. Shabazz’s life and work for mathematics teaching and learning. I share implications of his work for (re)current reform efforts in mathematics education, as well as ways to incorporate Dr. Shabazz’ philosophies in spaces for mathematics learning for young people in and out of school.

Sharing the Impacts of Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM
Talitha M. Washington, Howard University

In the mathematical community, Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz touched the lives of many. As a mentor, colleague, advocate, and friend, he actively strove to uplift others throughout the entire world. This interactive talk will provide an opportunity for audience members to share the many stories, memories, and contributions of Dr. Shabazz.

More than Equations

2:30 PM - 2:50 PM
Gwendolyn Irby, Lockheed Martin

Dr. Shabazz taught me more than just how to solve complicated mathematical problems, he taught me life lesson that I use today in the technical industry. What most people do not realize is that studying math trains your brain to think logical, a skill that can be transferred to any line of business. It doesn’t help me in my marriage, but it has assisted me in becoming a Senior System Engineer.

The Impact of Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz on the Business Community

3:00 PM - 3:20 PM
Shree Taylor, Delta Decisions of DC

Early on during my matriculation at Clark Atlanta University, Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz had a profound and positive impact on my life. He inspired me to be a meticulous and proud mathematician. From the time I started in his Office of Naval Research (ONR) pre-freshman calculus class until today, as the owner of an analytics consulting firm, Delta Decisions of DC, his deliberate and strong teaching style remains etched in my memory and a part of my mathematical-genetic makeup! In this talk, I will discuss the impact of Dr. Shabazz on the development my company (co-owned by Dr. Kim Barnette--another student of Dr. Shabazz) and how his quantitative training helps us solve challenging business problems.

Dr. Abdulalim A. Shabazz: An Example of a Living Topological Isomorphism

3:30 PM - 3:50 PM
Brett Sims, Borough of Manhattan Community College

This presentation is a brief look at the work of Dr. Shabazz during various aspects of his academic, administrative, religious, community, and family life. The talk emphasizes Dr. Shabazz’s ability to map his way of life, based on truth and fairness, into all aspects of his work.


4:00 PM - 4:20 PM
Gelonia Dent, Medgar Evers College

In an effort to increase the number of STEM degree recipients, populations of color are being targeted and tracked into the study of mathematics and science. What effect has this effort had on the quality of education and will future generations of mathematicians actually have the opportunities promised by the driving forces of STEM. Also, Dr. Shabazz’s philosophy of “all students can learn mathematics”, is this really true?

“The Teacher and the Mentor: A Combination that Instills Mathematical Greatness”

4:30 PM - 4:50 PM
Ronald Mickens, Clark Atlanta University

What are the characteristic attributes of a great teacher? What is an effective mentor? In this talk, we will examine these and related issues through the lens of the life and career of Professor Shabazz. We will share the influence he had (and still has) on his many students and colleagues who have now gone on to enhance the mathematical horizon.