James E. Boyd (scientist)
James Emory Boyd was an American physicist, mathematician, and academic administrator. He was director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute from 1957 to 1961, president of West Georgia College from 1961 to 1971, and acting president of Georgia Tech from 1971 to 1972. Boyd was influential in the founding of Scientific Atlanta, where he was a board member for 25 years.
About James E. Boyd (scientist) in brief
James Emory Boyd was an American physicist, mathematician, and academic administrator. He was director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute from 1957 to 1961, president of West Georgia College from 1961 to 1971, and acting president of Georgia Tech from 1971 to 1972. Boyd was influential in the founding of Scientific Atlanta, where he was a board member for 25 years. Boyd worked as an instructor of physics at the University of Georgia, Duke University, and Yale University. He received his PhD in physics from Yale in 1933, with a thesis entitled Scattering of X-Rays by Cold-Worked and by Annealed Beryllium. Boyd married Elizabeth Reynolds Cobb, daughter of Betty Reynolds Cobb and Hiram Felix Cobb, on June 2, 1934. He had two children: a daughter, Betty Cobb Boyd and a son, James Fortson Boyd. In 1950, Boyd created a U.S. Navy Research Unit at Georgia Tech that included officers from both Georgia Tech and the metropolitan Atlanta area. Around 1950, around the time of his death, Boyd was promoted to professor of physics in Georgia Tech’s physics department. He died of a heart attack at the age of 80. He is buried in Tignall, Georgia, a small town near the eastern border of the state of Georgia. Boyd was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He served in the United States Navy in 1942, serving as a lieutenant and later lieutenant commander in the Bureau of Ordnance, performing research on radar. In 1946, he worked as Assistant Project Director under Frank Lawrence on an Army Air Corps microwave project.
As part of the project, he conducted long-range line-of-sight experiments between Georgia and Mount Oglethorpe in North Georgia. In 1947, Boyd co-authored a study entitled Propagation Studies of Electromagnetic Waves of the North Georgia area. In 1948, he co- authored a series of related research contracts, including a large one obtained from the Navy Bureau ofOrdnance on radar-directed fire control control. In 1949, Boyd wrote a book on radar and electronics called “Radar and Electronics in the U. S. Navy” He was a graduate assistant at Yale University from 1930 to 1931 and a Loomis Fellow from 1931 to 1933. In 1935, he joined the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant professor of Physics. In 1961, he was appointed as head of the Mathematics and Science Department at West Georgia college. In 1963, he racially integrated the campus in 1963, and oversaw immense construction projects that dramatically expanded the campus to support the increased enrollment. In 1970, he became the University System of Georgia’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Development in 1970, and was almost immediately reassigned to be Georgia Tech’s interim president. In 1971, he resolved difficult issues in the attempted takeover of the Engineering Experiment Station by previous Georgia Tech president Arthur G. Hansen and the poor performance of head football coach Bud Carson.