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Philippa Garrett Fawcett (1868-1948)
|Born||4 April 1868|
|Died||10 June 1948(aged 80)|
|Institutions||London County Council|
|Alma mater||Newnham College, Cambridge|
|Academic advisors||Ernest William Hobson|
|Known for||First female Senior Wrangler|
She was the daughter of the suffragist Millicent Fawcett and of Henry Fawcett MP, Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge and Postmaster General in Gladstone's government. Her aunt was Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first English female doctor.
Philippa Fawcett was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge which had been co-founded by her mother. In 1890 Fawcett became the first woman to obtain the top score in the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos exams. The results were always highly publicised, with the top scorers receiving great acclaim. Her score was 13 per cent higher than the second highest score, but she did not receive the title of senior wrangler, as only men were then ranked, with women being listed separately. Women had been allowed to take the Tripos since 1881, after Charlotte Angas Scott was unofficially ranked as eighth wrangler. When the women's list was announced Fawcett was described as "above the senior wrangler". Coming amidst the women's suffrage movement, Fawcett's feat gathered worldwide media coverage, spurring much discussion about women's capacities and rights.
Philippa Fawcett worked from 1902 to 1905 setting up schools in South Africa, before returning to England to take a position in the administration of education for London County Council.
- "Philippa Fawcett", Biographies of Women Mathematicians, Agnes Scott College
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Philippa Fawcett", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- Rita McWilliams Tullberg, "Philippa Fawcett," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- Stephen Siklos, official Newnham biography of Philippa Fawcett, 2004.
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