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J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr
J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr


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J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. first attracted nationwide attention when he received his college degree at age 17 and his doctorate from the University of Chicago at 19. He received his Bachelor of Science in 1941, Master of Science in 1941, and Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1942. He received a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 1942 from New York University, followed by a Master of Mechanical Engineering in 1960. He served as an Instructor of Mathematics at the Tuskegee Institute from 1943 to 1944. Wilkins was Associate Physicist to Physicist on the Manhattan Project from 1944 to 1946. He taught mathematics and did research at University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory, where work was being conducted by Enrico Fermi's research group on the atomic bomb project. From 1946 to 1950 J. Ernest Wilkins was a Mathematician for the American Optical Company; from 1950 to 1955 he served as a Senior Mathematician for the Nuclear Development Corporation of America. Wilkins was Manager of Physics and Mathematics Department (1958-1959), later served as Manager (1960-1965). Dr. Wilkins served as Assistant Chairman of the Theoretical Physics Department, General Atomic Division of General Dynamics Corporation from 1960 to 1965 and Assistant Director of the laboratory from 1965 to 1970. In 1970, Dr. Wilkins was appointed as Distinguished Professor of Applied Mathematical Physics at Howard University. Dr. Wilkins was a joint owner of a company which designed and developed nuclear reactors for electrical power generation. J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. primary achievement has been the development of radiation shielding against gamma radiation, emitted during electron decay of the Sun and other nuclear sources. He developed mathematical models by which the amount of gamma radiation absorbed by a given material can be calculated. This technique of calculating radiative absorption is widely used among researcher in space and nuclear science projects.


 
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