Archive for the ‘Ms. JP’s Math Corner’ Category

by Ms. Johnson-Parham, Math Staff Developer

Students Who Tell the Truth : A school has 200 students; however, these are special students. Some of them ALWAYS tell the truth, and the rest of them, alas, NEVER tell the truth. Among the subject areas of math, science, and social studies, each student has one favorite. A survey was conducted where each student was asked three yes, or no questions: “Do you like math the most?” “Do you like science the most?” “Do you like social studies the most?”

The results were as follows:

  • 104 students said “yes,” they liked math the most.
  • 86 students said “yes,” they liked science the most.
  • 60 students said “yes,” they liked social studies the most.

How many students tell the truth, and how many do not?

HINT: How many subjects will each kind of student answer that “they like the most?”

Always remember: “A Winner Finds A Way!”



by Ms. Johnson-Parham, Math Staff Developer

Did you know March is Women’s History Month? With that in mind, here are some wonderful women of color who keep it real Mathematical!

Let me re-introduce you to Euphemia Rosalie Lofton Haynes. She was the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1943. Born Martha Euphemia Lofton in 1890 to a prominent family in Washington D.C., she became a distinguished member of the educational system. In fact she was central to the integration of the D.C. public schools. She was a phenomenal woman to say the least. She passed away in 1980.

Now, let’s take a trip down south and to the west to Memphis, Tennessee. Here we’ll discover the third African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics, Majorie Lee Browne. She was born September 9, 1924 (a fellow Virgo) and passed away October 19, 1979. Her father, known as a mental math whiz, imparted his enthusiasm for mathematics to his children and Marjorie ‘always loved mathematics.’ She received her Ph.D. in 1950 from the University of Michigan.

Finally, let’s take a trip further down south through the Gulf of Mexico to Havana, Cuba. Argelia Velez-Rodriguez, considered the fourth African American woman, despite her Cuban heritage, to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics was born in Havana Cuba in 1936. She didn’t become an American citizen until 1972, after receiving her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Havana in 1960. Since 1980 she has been a program director for the Department of Education.

If you would like to know more about these, or other fabulous females of mathematics, look them up online!


by Ms. Johnson-Parham, Math Staff Developer

In the spirit of Black History Month, I would like to introduce you to four remarkable African American mathematicians. I hope they will inspire you to not only delve deeper into mathematics, but to follow your dreams no matter the obstacles or the adversity you may face.

Elbert F. Cox, Dudley W. Woodard, and William W.S. Claytor were the first, second and third African Americans to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics. In fact, in 1925, Elbert F. Cox became the first black person in the world to receive this highest degree in Mathematics. In 1943, Euphemia L. Haynes became the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics.

These remarkable mathematicians pursued their dreams despite the discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry rampant in society. Dr. Cox’s thesis was turned down by countless universities in the US, Germany, and England before being accepted by a university in Japan. Dr. Woodard defied segregation ‘norms’ and moved into an all white community. He lived life as he chose. Despite never being allowed to stay in the same hotels as his white colleagues and never being offered a faculty position (except in the predominately black college that he had attended), Dr. Claytor continued to lead the field of mathematics, specifically in topography, until he retired.

Needless to say, these people didn’t make any excuses; they just found a way to live their dreams!

by Ms. Kendra Johnson-Parham, Math Staff Developer

In this time of ever-increasing math standards and even ‘higher stakes’ testing, we seem to have lost sight of the MOST important thing… Math is FUN! Try this math brain teaser! I know you’ll enjoy it:

Janice has $2.46 worth of coins in her pocket. The coins are of four different denominations, and she has the same number of each denomination. What are the four denominations, and how many of each does she have?

Always remember, ‘A Winner Finds a Way’

(Answer next month.)