Bonita V. Saunders, born in Portsmouth, Virginia, is a member of the Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division of the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She is the principal designer of graphs and visualizations for the DLMF.
In 1985 she was the first African American and first woman to obtain a Ph.D. in computational and applied mathematics from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. Her research interests include numerical grid generation, numerical solution of partial differential equations, and visualization of special functions.
In 2001 she was selected by the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) to present the Claytor Lecture at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans in memory of W. W. Schieffelin Claytor, one of the first African Americans to publish mathematical research beyond the dissertation.
As the principal developer of graphics for the DLMF, she has collaborated with other NIST mathematicians, computer scientists, and student interns to produce informative graphs and dynamic interactive visualizations of elementary and higher mathematical functions over both simply and multiply connected domains.
This work has resulted in several published papers presented as contributed or invited talks at universities and regional, national, and international conferences. She has also used her work for another passion: inspiring the next generation of mathematical scientists with presentations at middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community centers.