Iris Mack, 1988

Iris Mack, 1988
Photo: Donna M. Coveney, courtesy MIT Museum

Iris Mack at MIT, 1988.

New Orleans native Iris Marie Mack became the first Black woman to teach applied mathematics at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1986, the same year she became the second Black woman to receive a doctorate in applied mathematics from Harvard University. In 1989, she was a semifinalist for the NASA Astronaut Program. At MIT, Mack taught courses in financial engineering, statistics, and operations research in addition to applied mathematics until 1991. 

She worked as an investment banker and obtained a patent for research on optical fibers at AT&T Bell Labs. Glamour Magazine named her one of "Top 10" College Students and one of "Top 10" Working Women. Mack founded The Global Energy Post and MathQED - a homework help site for K-12 and college students. Begun as Phat Math in 2003, this service has been named one of the Top 50 Social Sites for Educators and Academics, 25 Savvy Social Media Sites for Grad Students, and 25 Useful Networking Sites for Grad Students. Energy Trading and Risk Management: A Practical Approach to Hedging, Trading and Portfolio Diversification (Wiley Finance, 2014) is Mack's third financially-focused book.


Timeline: 1980s
School: School of ScienceSloan School of Management
Department: ManagementMathematics
Career: EducationEngineeringMathematicsScience
Object: Image
Collection: Faculty, Harvard, Integration and Differentiation 1969-1994, NASA, STEM Education, Women