Timeline of women in mathematics in the United States
There is a long history of women in mathematics in the United States. All women mentioned here are American unless otherwise noted.
1913: Mildred Sanderson published her theorem about modular invariants in her thesis. It states: “To any modular invariant i of a system of forms under any group G of linear transformations with coefficients in the GF[pn], there corresponds a formal invariant I under G such that I = i for all sets of values in the field of the coefficients of the system of forms.” She was Leonard Dickson’s first female graduate student, and he later wrote of her thesis, “This paper is a highly important contribution to this field of work; its importance lies partly in the fact that it establishes a correspondence between modular and formal invariants. Her main theorem has already been frequently quoted on account of its fundamental character. Her proof is a remarkable piece of mathematics.” E.T. Bell wrote, “Miss Sanderson’s single contribution (1913) to modular invariants has been rated by competent judges as one of the classics of the subject.”
1962: Mina Rees became the first woman to win the Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics, which is the most prestigious award made by the Mathematical Association of America.
1971: The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) was founded. It is a professional society whose mission is to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity for and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences. It is incorporated in the state of Massachusetts.
1971: The Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences (JCW), was founded as a committee of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). It is now a joint committee of seven mathematical and statistical societies which works to identify mechanisms for the enhancement of opportunities for women in the mathematical and statistical sciences, recommend actions to the governing bodies of the member societies in support of these opportunities, and document its recommendations by presenting data.
1973: Jean Taylor published her dissertation on “Regularity of the Singular Set of Two-Dimensional Area-Minimizing Flat Chains Modulo 3 in R3” which solved a long-standing problem about length and smoothness of soap-film triple function curves.
1975–1977: Marjorie Rice, who had no formal training in mathematics beyond high school, discovered three new types of tessellating pentagons and more than sixty distinct tessellations by pentagons.
1979: Mary Ellen Rudin became the first woman to present the Earle Raymond Hedrick Lectures; these lectures were established by the Mathematical Association of America in 1952 to present to the Association a lecturer of known skill as an expositor of mathematics "who will present a series of at most three lectures accessible to a large fraction of those who teach college mathematics."
1996: Joan Birman became the first woman to receive the Chauvenet Prize, which is awarded annually by the Mathematical Association of America to the author of an outstanding expository article on a mathematical topic by a member of the association.
2002: Melanie Wood became the first American woman and second woman overall to be named a Putnam Fellow in 2002. Putnam Fellows are the top five (or six, in case of a tie) scorers on The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.
2004: Melanie Wood became the first woman to win the Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student. It is an annual award given to an undergraduate student in the US, Canada, or Mexico who demonstrates superior mathematics research.
2006: Stefanie Petermichl, a German mathematical analyst then at the University of Texas at Austin, became the first woman to win the Salem Prize, which is awarded every year to a young mathematician judged to have done outstanding work in Salem's field of interest, primarily Fourier series and related areas in analysis.
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- "Gertrude Mary Cox". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
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- "New Zealand Mathematical Societu Newsletter Number 84, April 2002". Massey.ac.nz. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- "About AWM - AWM Association for Women in Mathematics". sites.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
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- "Jean Taylor". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- "Interview with Joan Birman" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. 54 (1). 4 December 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Doris Schattschneider. "Perplexing Pentagons". britton.disted.camosun.bc.ca. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
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- "2005 Parson Lecturer - Dr. Doris Schattschneider". University of North Carolina at Asheville, Department of Mathematics. Retrieved 2013-07-13.
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- "Gloria Ford Gilmer". math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
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- "2003 Morgan Prize" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. 51 (4). 26 February 2004. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "Math Forum @ Drexel: Congratulations, Alison!". mathforum.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- Short vita, retrieved 2016-07-04.