Where is the PMA building?

Announcement from interim University president Jay Hartzell giving the Physics, Math, and Astronomy building its current name

The physics, math, and astronomy departments at the University of Texas at Austin share a building that, until 2020, was officially known as Robert Lee Moore hall (RLM). Moore was a professor of mathematics at UT for nearly 40 years. He was honored in his lifetime for his contributions to the foundations of point-set topology and for his innovative teaching methods.

Moore is remembered today for being a staunch racist and segregationist. Even after UT was formally desegregated in 1956, Moore did not allow Black students to take his courses, and once walked out of a lecture upon discovering that the speaker (a student of one his own students) was black: see here, here, and here for these and other stories about Moore told by Black students who were at the university during this time.

The physics, math, and astronomy building at the University of Texas was named after Moore in 1973, and carried his name until 2020. Many of the students and faculty in these departments felt that it was not appropriate to honor a man who actively fought against the inclusion of minorities in the sciences, and advocated for a new name. In July of 2020, after hearing from many of these voices, interim president Jay Hartzell announced that the building's name would be formally changed to the Physics, Math, and Astronomy building (PMA).

This page has been left up as a reminder of the history that led to the building's original name as well as the decision to change it.