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William Alfred Massey ’77

William A Massey '77

Mathematician William Alfred Massey is the first Black Princeton undergraduate alumnus to become a full professor at the University. Upon graduation, he received a Bell Laboratories Cooperative Research Fellowship that funded his 1981 Stanford University Ph.D. in mathematics. For 20 years, he worked as a researcher in the Mathematical Sciences Research Center at Bell Laboratories.

In 2001, Bill rejoined Princeton as the Edwin S. Wilsey Professor for the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering. He has extensive publications, as well as a patent, in the field of queueing theory and its applications. He educates students on the uses of probability for building computational algorithms and for modelling the dynamics of resource sharing in communications systems as well as healthcare services.

He is devoted to the mentoring of Black students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math as acknowledged by Bell Labs, Princeton, and the minority mathematics community. He helped recruit the first eight Black Ph.D. students ever for his department, where half of them now have doctorates; he was the thesis adviser for half of that half. In 2006 he founded the Princeton minority student group, the Wesley L. Harris *68 Scientific Society.

Bill is an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society and a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. He also is a co-founder and 25-year organizer of the annual Conference for African American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences.


Inclusive Excellence for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Friday, October 4

William Alfred Massey ’77, Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Rodney Priestley, Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering and Associate Director; Princeton Center for Complex Materials