In a time when there was a “widespread American belief that blacks and females couldn’t learn mathematics as easily as white males (Journal, p.270),” Dudley Weldon Woodard was at the height of his career as a mathematician. Woodard surpassed the racial barriers of the early part of the twentieth century to become only the second African American to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics.
Woodard published three papers in his career, one of which focused on the Jordan curve-theorem. This theorem deals with simple, closed curves and the regions their boundaries form. A simple closed curve is a curve that starts and ends at the same point (closed), and does not cross itself (simple). Woodard’s work on the Jordan curve-theorem was geared mainly at eliminating all assumptions that it was true, and establishing a concrete proof for this theorem.
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Journal of Black Studies.Vol.18 No.2, December 1987,170-190.