At age 13, became youngest student ever admitted to the Univerity of Chicago
Earned a PhD in Mathematics within 5 years.
Contributions to the field of theoretical physics include the 'Wilkins Effect', 'Wigner-Wilkins' and 'Wilkins' spectra, developed during his work with the Manhattan Project, where he served as a physicist in its metallurgical laboratory.
Worked on Project ORION, which explored the application of the use of nuclear bombs to propel rockets
Held multiple mathematics professorships over the course of his career
Published extensively on the mean number of real zeros for random Legendre, and trigonometric polynomials
Roberson, Stephen. “Jesse Ernest Wilkins Jr.” National Society of Black Physicists, National Society of Black Physicists, 15 Feb. 2019, https://www.nsbp.org/nsbp-news/bhm-physics-profiles/2019-honorees/134-jesse-ernest-wilkins-jr.
Ronald E. Mickens Ronald E. Mickens Clark, and Atlanta University. “Obituary of J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. (1923-2011).” Physics Today, American Institute of Physics, 18 Jan. 2013, https://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.4.1695/full/.