A portrait honoring David Blackwell, the first black man to get tenure at UC Berkeley, was unveiled this week in the residence hall bearing his name.
The portrait was commissioned by Richard Davis, a friend and former student of the late math professor Blackwell.
Blackwell came to Berkeley in the 1950s as a math professor and eventually went on to chair the newly formed statistics department. Blackwell was known as a gifted instructor who made the dizzying theorems of statistics accessible to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. He also was a distinguished researcher who independently invented dynamic programming, a statistical method still used today in finance and areas like genome analysis.
In 1965, Blackwell became the first black man inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. He died in 2010.
Davis commissioned the portrait to honor Blackwell. It was installed in Blackwell Hall, which opened in August, on Wednesday.