Helen Dodson Prince

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Helen Dodson Prince
Helen Dodson Prince.jpg
BornDecember 31, 1905
DiedFebruary 4, 2002(2002-02-04) (aged 96)
Alma materGoucher College (BA)
University of Michigan (PhD)
Known forSolar flares
AwardsAnnie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy (1955)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Michigan
Doctoral advisorHeber Doust Curtis

Helen Dodson Prince (December 31, 1905 – February 4, 2002) was an astronomer who pioneered work in solar flares at the University of Michigan.

Early life and education[edit]

Helen Prince (née Dodson) was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 31, 1905 to Helen Walter and Henry Clay Dodson. Being skilled in both physics and mathematics, Prince received a full scholarship to study mathematics at Goucher College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1927. During her undergraduate studies, she was influenced by professor Florence P. Lewis to study astronomy. Prince continued onto graduate school at the University of Michigan, where she received her master's degree in 1932 and her Ph.D. in 1934, both in astronomy. Prince's doctoral thesis was entitled "A Study of the Spectrum of 25 Orionis".[1]

Career and Achievements[edit]

Prince served as an assistant professor of astronomy at Wellesley College from 1933-1945. Prince spent the summers of 1934 and 1935, at the Maria Mitchell Observatory, where she continued to study the spectroscopy of 25 Orionis. Her findings would later be published in the Astrophysical Journal. During the summers of 1938 and 1939, Prince's interest in solar activity became prominent while researching it at the Paris Observatory. Between 1943 and 1945, Prince worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Radiation Laboratory, where she made significant contributions to the study of radar. After World War II, she returned to Goucher College, where she was an astronomy professor from 1945 to 1950. Prince began her research at the McMath–Hulbert Observatory in 1947 and eventually left MIT to become its associate director as well as to be an astronomy professor in Michigan.[1][2]

Dodson held the Dean Van Meter fellowship from Goucher in 1932 and received the Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy in 1954. In 1974, Dodson received the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Michigan. Throughout her career, Dodson published over 130 journal articles, mostly on solar flares.[2] [3][4] [5] Among her students at Goucher were astronomers Nan Dieter-Conklin and Harriet H. Malitson.[6]



  1. ^ a b Shearer, Benjamin F. (1997). Notable women in the physical sciences : a biographical dictionary (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-29303-0.
  2. ^ a b Lindner, Rudi Paul. "Helen Dodson Prince (1905 - 2002)". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Prince, Helen Walter (Dodson)". The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: L-Z. New York: Routledge. 2000. p. 1055. ISBN 978-0-415-92040-7.
  4. ^ Wayne, Tiffany K. (2011). "Prince, Helen Walter Dodson". American Women of Science Since 1900. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 771–773. ISBN 978-1-59884-158-9.
  5. ^ Lindner, Rudi Paul (January 2009). "Obituary: Helen Dodson Prince, 1905-2002". Bulletin of the Astronomical Society. 41: 575. Bibcode:2009BAAS...41..575L.
  6. ^ David DeVorkin (1977), Oral history interview with Nan Dieter-Conklin. American Institute of Physics.
  7. ^ "Helen Dodson Prince (1905 - 2002) | American Astronomical Society". aas.org. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  8. ^ "Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy | American Astronomical Society". aas.org. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  9. ^ "Helen Dodson Prince (1905 - 2002) | American Astronomical Society". aas.org. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  10. ^ "M.P.C. 118219" (PDF). Minor Planet Center. 8 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.