Following my parents who were graduates of the University of Chicago, I entered the University of Chicago at age 13 and recieved my Ph.D. in mathematics by age 19.
My thesis, in the area of Calculus of Variations, was significant to the extent that I was described in national newspapers as "the Negro genius."
Though able in theoretical mathematics, I preferred applications of mathematics and eventually received a second degree in Mechanical Engineering.
I published nearly 100 papers (about half of those in mathematics), with my biggest impact being in the application of mathematics to nuclear engineering, especially the development of radiation shielding against gamma radiation.
I was the second African-American inducted into the National Academy of Engineers.
J. Ernest Wilkens (1923-?)