The New Class of MLK Scholars at MIT

Since its creation in 1991, the Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professors and Scholars Program has brought more than 90 scholars to campus to teach and conduct research, usually for a one- or two-year term.

This year there are six new MLK professors and scholars on campus. Four of the six are African Americans.

Robert Hampshire is an assistant professor at the John H. Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His research is focused on urban transportation systems and ways to reduce congestion and air pollution.

Prior to joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon, he worked at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and Bell Laboratories, among others. He holds a Ph.D. in operations research and financial engineering from Princeton University.

Terrence Blackman is an instructor in the mathematics department at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York. His interests are number theory, the teaching and learning of mathematics in urban, majority African-American settings, and the integration of technology.

Dr. Blackman earned a Ph.D. in 2011 from the City University of New York.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine. His writing focuses on issues of politics, culture, and society. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood.

Coates graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute high school and enrolled at Howard University in Washington. He dropped out of college to pursue a career in journalism.

Thomas Epps III holds the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He holds a joint appointment in materials science and engineering.

Dr. Epps joined the faculty at the University of Delaware as an assistant professor in 2006.

Professor Epps holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned  Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.


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  1. Congrats Gents!! This is awesome.

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