Person: Bacon (2), Clara
Clara Bacon was the first woman to be awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University. She had an outstanding reputation as a teacher, and ten women to whom she taught mathematics at undergraduate level at Goucher College went on to be awarded a Ph.D. from a different institution.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Larkin Bacon had been born 2 March 1818 in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
- For example, at the 1870 US census, Clara is three years old and five older half-siblings are living at the same home, namely Eugene, Joseph B, James H, Harvey M and Louie.
- At the time Clara was growing up it had a primary school, which she attended.
- Clara began her secondary education at North Abingdon High School.
- Clara was awarded the degree of PhB (Bachelor of Philosophy), an undergraduate bachelor's degree.
- After the award of her PhB degree, Bacon taught for the school year 1886-87 at a private school in Dover, Kansas.
- Bacon was particularly influenced by Ellen Hayes who became a professor and Head of the Mathematics Department in 1888 while Bacon was studying there.
- Later in her Ph.D. thesis, Bacon gave special thanks to Ellen Hayes for her help while she was at Wellesley College.
- After graduating from Wellesley College, Bacon was appointed as a teacher in a private school in Litchfield, Kentucky.
- In 1897 Bacon was appointed as an instructor at the Woman's College of Baltimore which was renamed Goucher College in 1910.
- At the time of the 1900 US census, the three of them are living at 2316 Calvert Street in Baltimore City with both Clara and Agnes giving their occupation as "teacher'.
- Clara Bacon now began to study for more advanced degrees and, while continuing to work full time at the Woman's College, she studied each summer from 1901 to 1904 at the University of Chicago for a Master's Degree.
- After she retired, Bacon wrote to Oskar Bolza on 23 April 1936.
- Writing to Oskar Bolza, one of the founders of the Department of Mathematics, a former MA student, Clara Latimer Bacon, recalled, "Your zest for the subject and your careful preparation for each class and the clearness and elegance of your lectures as well as your personal interest in your students have been an inspiration to me as a teacher ever since.
- Bacon was a Johns Hopkins' fellow in 1909-11, and in 1910-11 she held a fellowship from the Baltimore Association for the Promotion of the University Education of Women.
- Agnes Bacon worked at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and published several articles in the field of biometrics during the early 1920s.
- Bacon was awarded a Ph.D. in 1911 for her thesis The Cartesian oval and the elliptic functions ℘ and σ.
- Bacon was promoted to professor at Goucher College in 1914 and continued to teach there until she retired in 1934.
- After Clara retired in 1934 she set out on a fifteen month trip in June 1934, travelling first to England then going to Scotland, Italy, Egypt, and Palestine before returning to Baltimore in October 1935 sailing from Hamburg, Germany, to Baltimore on the SS City of Norfolk.
- Bacon continued to live at 2316 Calvert Street with her servant Ida Lindsay, who was far more than a servant, being also a companion and friend.
- In 1958 Goucher College renamed North House, "Bacon House" in her honour.
- There is also a Clara and Agnes Bacon endowed scholarship at Goucher.
Born 13 August 1866, Hills Grove, (now Tennessee Township) Illinois, USA. Died 14 April 1948, Baltimore, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Usa, Women
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive