Born May 1, 1924

Washington, D.C., U.S.





She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1949, becoming the second black woman we know of to obtain a doctorate in mathematics. Granville spent a year at a research postdoctoral position. She then interviewed for jobs but she encountered discrimination. Following graduate school, Boyd went to New York University Institute for Mathematics and performed research and teaching there. After, in 1950, she took a teaching position at Fisk University, a college for black students in Nashville, where she focused on the mathematics education of future teachers. Over the course of her career, she worked for NASA and others in support of space missions. In 1952 Boyd became a mathematician at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in Washington, D.C., where she worked on missile fuses. There she became interested in the new field of computer programming, which led her to the corporation International Business Machines (IBM) in 1956. In 1957 she joined IBM’s Vanguard Computing Center in Washington, D.C., where she wrote computer programs that tracked orbits for the uncrewed Vanguard satellite and the crewed Mercury spacecraft. She left IBM in 1960 to move to Los Angeles, where she worked at the aerospace firm Space Technology Laboratories; there she did further work on satellite orbits. In 1962 she joined the aerospace firm North American Aviation, where she worked on celestial mechanics and trajectory calculations for the Apollo project. She returned to IBM to its Federal Systems Division in 1963 as senior mathematician.