Lucy Joan Slater

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Lucy Joan Slater (5 January 1922 – 6 June 2008) was a mathematician who worked on hypergeometric functions, and who found many generalizations of the Rogers–Ramanujan identities. Her advisor was Wilfrid Norman Bailey.[1] In the early 1950s she played a leading role at Cambridge University in devising a precursor of modern computer operating systems, and subsequently she helped to develop computer programs for econometrics, working for much of the time with UK government officials.

In retirement she devoted much of her time to genealogy.

Her (unpublished) memoirs include descriptions of life as a teenager in Portsmouth during the bombing of the Second World War, and of working with early computers at Cambridge.

She is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge. In 1997 she completed a remarkable listing of all the graves and their inscriptions in the burial ground; she wrote a paper called "A Walk round the Ascension Burial Ground, Cambridge" which describes over 100 of the graves as though the reader is walking around the burial ground and includes detailed maps. The fourth edition is dated December 1994.

She herself was buried there in 2008, in the same grave as her mother Lucy Dalton Slater (1893–1975), widow of John Wardle Slater F.I.C., Admiralty chemist, buried in Portsmouth.


In 2016 the Council of the University of Cambridge approved the use of Slater's name to mark a physical feature within the North West Cambridge Development.[2]



  1. ^ Lucy Joan Slater at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Administrator (2015-01-29). "Street Naming". Retrieved 2017-03-08. 

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