Elizabeth Scott (mathematician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Elizabeth Scott
Born(1917-11-23)November 23, 1917
DiedDecember 20, 1988(1988-12-20) (aged 71)
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
AwardsNewcomb Cleveland Prize (1958)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisorRobert Julius Trumpler

Elizabeth Leonard Scott (November 23, 1917 – December 20, 1988) was an American mathematician specializing in statistics.

Scott was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Her family moved to Berkeley, California when she was 4 years old. She attended the University of California, Berkeley where she studied mathematics and astronomy. There were few options for further study in astronomy, as the field was largely closed to women at the time, so she completed her graduate studies in mathematics. She received her Ph.D. in 1949, and received a permanent position in the Department of Mathematics at Berkeley in 1951.[1]

She wrote over 30 papers on astronomy and 30 on weather modification research analysis, incorporating and expanding the use of statistical analyses in these fields. She also used statistics to promote equal opportunities and equal pay for female academics.

In 1957 Scott noted a bias in the observation of galaxy clusters. She noticed that for an observer to find a very distant cluster, it must contain brighter-than-normal galaxies and must also contain a large number of galaxies. She proposed a correction formula to adjust for (what came to be known as) the Scott effect.[2][3]

Scott was a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.[4] The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies awards a prize in her honour, the Elizabeth L. Scott Award, for "fostering opportunities in statistics for women".


  1. ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Elizabeth Leonard Scott", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
  2. ^ Elizabeth Leonard Scott, Statistics: Berkeley, University of California: In Memoriam, 1991
  3. ^ "Elizabeth Scott", Biographies of Women Mathematicians, Agnes Scott College
  4. ^ Honored Fellows, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, archived from the original on 2014-03-02, retrieved 2017-11-24