Beatrice Mabel Cave-Browne-Cave

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Beatrice Mabel Cave-Browne-Cave, MBE (30 May 1874 – 9 July 1947) was an English mathematician who undertook pioneering work in the mathematics of aeronautics.

Birth and education[edit]

Beatrice Cave-Browne-Cave was the daughter of Sir Thomas Cave-Browne-Cave (1835–1924; see Cave-Browne-Cave baronets for earlier history of the family) and Blanche Matilda Mary Ann (née Milton). One of six siblings, one of her brothers was Henry Cave-Browne-Cave, a Royal Air Force officer. She was educated at home in Streatham and entered Girton College, Cambridge with her younger sister Frances in 1895. Gaining a second-class degree in the mathematical tripos, part one (1898), she took part two a year later (1899), and was placed in the third class.[1]


After eleven years teaching mathematics to girls at a high school in Clapham in south London, in the years just before the First World War she worked under Professor Karl Pearson[2] in the Galton Laboratory at University College, London.

During World War I, she carried out original research for the government on the mathematics of aeronautics which remained classified under the Official Secrets Act for fifty years. Elected an associate fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1919 and awarded an MBE in 1920, she later worked as an assistant to Sir Leonard Bairstow, the Zaharoff Professor of Aviation at Imperial College, London. She retired in 1937, continuing to live in Streatham[3]


Beatrice Mabel Cave-Browne-Cave died on 9 July 1947 at age 73, unmarried.[4]


  1. ^ "Cave, Beatrice Mabel Cave-Browne- (1874–1947), applied mathematician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/61586.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ David Alan Grier, When Computers Were Human, Princeton University Press, 2005, pp. 111-12.
  3. ^ A.E.L. Davis, entry on Beatrice and Evelyn Cave-Browne-Cave, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 10, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 594-95.
  4. ^ Profile,; accessed 31 October 2014.