People To Remember: Two giants in STEM recently passed away

And both women had the same personal name: Evelyn Boyd Granville (May 1, 1924 – June 27, 2023, age 99) and Evelyn Witkin (née Maisel; March 9, 1921 – July 8, 2023, age 102).

Evelyn Boyd Granville was a graduate from Smith College and then Yale University, earning Masters degrees in both mathematics and physics within one year, later earning a Doctorate.  She was only the second African American woman to receive a Ph. D. in Mathematics (1949).  During her career, she worked at IBM and at NASA where she calculated trajectories for space missions.  Later in her career, she taught mathematics at Texas College and the University of Texas.  Below are some biographies of Granville:

State University of New York at Buffalo

University of St. Andrews, Scotland

US Department of Energy

Evelyn M. Witkin entered college at 16, and was a graduate of Columbia University, studying bacterial genetics. In 1944, Witkin isolated a UV radiation-resistant mutant of the E. coli bacteria, the first time a mutation transmitting UV radiation-resistance was isolated (that statement credited to the first link below).  In 2003, she was awarded the National Medal of Science for her work on DNA mutagenesis and DNA repair.

National Science and Technology Medals Foundation

Rutgers University, on Witkins’ 100th birthday

Witkin’s article from The Atlantic, 1957