# Timeline of women in mathematics in the United States

There is a long history of **women in mathematics in the United States**. All women mentioned here are American unless otherwise noted.

## Timeline

#### 19th Century

- 1829: The first public examination of an American girl in geometry was held.[1]
- 1886: Winifred Edgerton Merrill became the first American woman to earn a PhD in mathematics, which she earned from Columbia University.[2]

#### 20th Century

- 1913: Mildred Sanderson earned her PhD for a thesis that included an important theorem about modular invariants.[3]
- 1927: Anna Pell-Wheeler became the first woman to present a lecture at the American Mathematical Society Colloquium.[4]
- 1943: Euphemia Haynes became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics, which she earned from Catholic University of America.[5]
- 1949: Gertrude Mary Cox became the first woman elected into the International Statistical Institute.[6]
- 1956: Gladys West began collecting data from satellites at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division. Her calculations directly impacted the development of accurate GPS systems.[7]
- 1962: Mina Rees became the first woman to win the Mathematical Association of America's highest honor, the Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics.[4]
- 1966: Mary L. Boas published
*Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences*, which was still widely used in college classrooms as of 1999.[8][9]

##### 1970s

- 1970: Mina Rees became the first female president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[10]
- 1971:
- Mary Ellen Rudin constructed the first Dowker space.[11]
- The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) was founded. It is a professional society whose mission is to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity for and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences. It is incorporated in the state of Massachusetts.[12]
- The American Mathematical Society established its Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences (JCW), which later became a joint committee of multiple scholarly societies.[13]

- 1973: Jean Taylor published her dissertation on "Regularity of the Singular Set of Two-Dimensional Area-Minimizing Flat Chains Modulo 3 in R3" which solved a long-standing problem about length and smoothness of soap-film triple function curves.[14]
- 1974: Joan Birman published the book
*Braids, Links, and Mapping Class Groups*. It has become a standard introduction, with many of today's researchers having learned the subject through it.[15] - 1975–1977: Marjorie Rice, who had no formal training in mathematics beyond high school, discovered three new types of tessellating pentagons and more than sixty distinct tessellations by pentagons.[16]
- 1975: Julia Robinson became the first female mathematician elected to the National Academy of Sciences.[17]
- 1979:
- Dorothy Lewis Bernstein became the first female president of the Mathematical Association of America.[18]
- Mary Ellen Rudin became the first woman to present the MAA's Earle Raymond Hedrick Lectures, intended to showcase skilled expositors and enrich the understanding of instructors of college-level mathematics.[4]

##### 1980s

- 1981: Doris Schattschneider became the first female editor of
*Mathematics Magazine*, a refereed bimonthly publication of the Mathematical Association of America.[19][20] - 1983: Julia Robinson became the first female president of the American Mathematical Society,[17] and the first female mathematician to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.[4]
- 1988: Doris Schattschneider became the first woman to present the MAA's J. Sutherland Frame Lectures.[4]

##### 1990s

- 1992: Gloria Gilmer became the first woman to deliver a major National Association of Mathematicians lecture (it was the Cox-Talbot address).[21]
- 1995: Margaret Wright became the first female president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.[4]
- 1996: Joan Birman became the first woman to receive the MAA's Chauvenet Prize, an annual award for expository articles.[4]
- 1998: Melanie Wood became the first female American to make the U.S. International Math Olympiad Team. She won silver medals in the 1998 and 1999 International Mathematical Olympiads.[22]

#### 21st Century

- 2002: Melanie Wood became the first American woman and second woman overall to be named a Putnam Fellow in 2002. Putnam Fellows are the top five (or six, in case of a tie) scorers on William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.[23][24]
- 2004:
- Melanie Wood became the first woman to win the Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student. It is an annual award given to an undergraduate student in the US, Canada, or Mexico who demonstrates superior mathematics research.[25]
- Alison Miller became the first female gold medal winner on the U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad Team.[26]

- 2006: Stefanie Petermichl, a German mathematical analyst then at the University of Texas at Austin, became the first woman to win the Salem Prize, an annual award given to young mathematicians who have worked in Raphael Salem's field of interest, chiefly topics in analysis related to Fourier series.[27][4] She shared the prize with Artur Avila.[28]
- 2007: Kaumudi Joshipura, an Indian dentist-scientist, biostatistician, and epidemiologist, became the NIH endowed chair and director of the center for clinical research and health promotion at University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus.[29][30]
- 2019: Karen Uhlenbeck became the first woman to win the Abel Prize, with the award committee citing "the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics."[31]

## See also

Timeline of women in mathematics

## References

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Susan B. Anthony; Matilda Joslyn Gage; Ida Husted Harper, eds. (1889).
*History of Woman Suffrage: 1848–1861, Volume 1*. Susan B. Anthony. p. 36. Retrieved 2011-04-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) - Susan E. Kelly & Sarah A. Rozner (28 February 2012). "Winifred Edgerton Merrill:"She Opened the Door"" (PDF).
*Notices of the AMS*.**59**(4). Retrieved 25 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) - "Mildred Leonora Sanderson". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Prizes, Awards, and Honors for Women Mathematicians". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Euphemia Lofton Haynes, first African American woman mathematician". math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Gertrude Mary Cox". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "How Gladys West uncovered the 'Hidden Figures' of GPS".
*GPS World*. 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-09-22. - Mary L. Boas (1966).
*Mathematical methods in the physical sciences*. Wiley. - Spector, Donald (1999). "Book Reviews".
*American Journal of Physics*.**67**(2): 165–169. doi:10.1119/1.19216. - "Mina Rees". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "New Zealand Mathematical Societu Newsletter Number 84, April 2002". Massey.ac.nz. Retrieved 2017-06-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "About AWM - AWM Association for Women in Mathematics". Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "JCW-Math | Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences". jcwmath.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Jean Taylor". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Interview with Joan Birman" (PDF).
*Notices of the AMS*.**54**(1). 4 December 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) - Doris Schattschneider. "Perplexing Pentagons". britton.disted.camosun.bc.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-08-13. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Profiles of Women in Mathematics: Julia Robinson". awm-math.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Oakes, E.H. (2007).
*Encyclopedia of World Scientists*. Facts On File, Incorporated. ISBN 9781438118826. - "2005 Parson Lecturer - Dr. Doris Schattschneider". University of North Carolina at Asheville, Department of Mathematics. Archived from the original on 2014-01-11. Retrieved 2013-07-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link).
- Riddle, Larry (April 5, 2013). "Biographies of Women Mathematicians | Doris Schattschneider". Agnes Scott College. Retrieved 2013-07-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Gloria Ford Gilmer". math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Rimer, Sara (10 October 2008). "Math Skills Suffer in U.S., Study Finds".
*The New York Times*. Retrieved 2019-11-20. - "Duke Magazine-Where Are They Now?-January/February 2010". dukemagazine.duke.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Melanie Wood: The Making of a Mathematician - Cogito". cogito.cty.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "2003 Morgan Prize" (PDF).
*Notices of the AMS*.**51**(4). 26 February 2004. Retrieved 25 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) - "Math Forum @ Drexel: Congratulations, Alison!". mathforum.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Short vita, retrieved 2016-07-04.
- "UZH - Fields Medal Winner Artur Avila Appointed Full Professor at the University of Zurich". Media.uzh.ch. 2018-07-24. Retrieved 2018-10-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Joshipura, Kaumudi Jinraj (February 2017). "CV" (PDF).
*Harvard School of Public Health*. - "Kaumudi Joshipura".
*Harvard School of Public Health*. Retrieved 2019-07-29. - Change, Kenneth (March 19, 2019). "Karen Uhlenbeck Is First Woman to Receive Abel Prize in Mathematics".
*New York Times*. Retrieved 19 March 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)