Young man emerges first black person to earn PhD in Mathematics from Indiana university, celebrates unique achievement


A young man named Dominique Kemp has made history as the first-ever black person to bag a Ph.D. in Mathematics at Indiana University in the United States.


Kemp obtained his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Stanford University before proceeding to Indiana University in Bloomington to pursue his doctorate degree in mathematics.

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He said while he was at Indiana University, there were no Black professors in the field, and even in his last three years in the program, he was the only Black student enrolled.


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“I was the closest the students got to having a Black mathematics professor here at IU when I was an associate instructor. In 2018, I believe, I became the only one in the Mathematics Ph.D. program when the last of the other two Black students departed from the program,” he said.

While in the university, Kemp was an active student, he tutored students in mathematics and advocated for more diversity in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields.


“Doing graduate school has really opened my eyes to the problem of underrepresentation of Blacks in the STEM field. And now it has become a big deal to me,” Kemp told Black Enterprise.

Kemp said that now that he has made history as the first Black graduate to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Indiana University, he wants to inspire the next wave of mathematicians.

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