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Sun, 02.07.1943

Ronald Mickens, Physicist born

Ronald Mickens

*Ronald Mickens was born on this date in 1943.  He is a Black physicist, author, and educator.  

From Petersburg, VA., Ronald Elbert Mickens is the son of Joseph and Daisy Mickens.  He spent much of his youth with his grandparents, and James Williamson introduced him to science.  Mickens graduated from Peabody HS, taking algebra, plane and solid geometry, chemistry, biology, and physics.   After HS, with a full scholarship, he attended Fisk University, graduating in 1964 with his B.A. in Physics.  

In 1968 he graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.  During this time, he married his wife Maria; they have three children.  Mickens received a Woodrow Wilson and National Science Foundation Fellowship.  After two years of study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he returned to Fisk in 1970 to teach.  Mickens also did research and Vanderbilt and the Joint Institute for Astrophysics at Boulder, CO.  in 1982; he became a professor at Clark Atlanta University, where he authored his book on chaos theory, Difference Equations, in 1987.  He was also friendly with Black scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, such as J. Ernest Wilkins.  

Mickens’ research spans complex functions, theoretical elementary particle physics, mathematical epidemiology, and modeling of non-linear oscillations.  He has authored five advanced textbooks on mathematics and over 120 scientific research papers.  He is the author of The African American Presence in Physics and Edward Bouchet: The First African American Doctorate.  Mickens also produced an edited eight-volume collection entitled Mathematics and Science.  

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