Johnny E. Brown was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean , which he still loves today. He graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1973. He then obtained a master of arts in 1974 and a doctorate degree in 1979 from the University of Michigan .
Professor Brown's first job was at Purdue University, where he still remains today. Having risen through the ranks from assistant (1979), to associate professor (1985), to professor (1990), he is the first African-American full professor in the mathematics department and only one of three full professors in the College of Science in the past 30 years. He has received several Purdue and national teaching awards and was inducted in the Purdue "Book of Great Teachers" in 1999.
His research area is complex analysis, with an emphasis on extremal problems. Currently he serves as a co-editor of a special issue of the journal "Complex Analysis, Theory & Applications."
Professor Brown has served on many departmental and University-wide committees over the years and has been recognized for his service to Purdue. He now heads the graduate program in mathematics — the same position he held once before for five years. In the current position, he is charged with running the program and dealing with more than 160 graduate students.
His hobbies include playing the guitar and chess. Professor Brown is the current treasurer for the Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff and has long been involved in the Caucus's annual academic and service awards program. He enjoys his career and spends a lot of his time in his office in the Mathematical Sciences Building
Mathematical Sciences Building