Person: Baxter, Agnes Sime
Agnes Baxter was a Canadian mathematician who became only the second Canadian woman to be awarded Ph.D. in Mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Robert Baxter was born on 9 February 1844 in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland to Robert Baxter and Elizabeth Grieve, and died in 1918.
- Mr Baxter was born at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 27 June 1883, and attended University Dalhousie (Nova Scotia) and the University of Nebraska.
- From 1919 to 1922 Mr Baxter was associated briefly with a public utility company in Connecticut and with the engineering department of The Toledo (Ohio) Edison Company.
- Baxter had been taught mathematics at Dalhousie University by Charles Macdonald (1828-1901) and mathematical physics by James Gordon MacGregor (1852-1913).
- It must have been a difficult time for a woman such as Baxter taking what were considered at that time to be men's subjects.
- With the award of her B.A. degree Baxter became the first ever woman to graduate with honours from Dalhousie University.
- Miss Baxter spent another year in the study of Mathematics and Mathematical Physics and was awarded the degree of M.A. in 1892.
- The first three women to be awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University, Ida Metcalf (Ph.D. thesis Geometric Duality in Space, 1893), Annie MacKinnon (Ph.D. thesis Concomitant Binary Forms in Terms of the Roots, 1894) and Agnes Baxter (Ph.D. 1895) were all advised by James Oliver.
- When she graduated in 1895, Baxter became only the second Canadian woman to be awarded Ph.D. in Mathematics.
- James Oliver died in the year that Baxter was awarded her Ph.D. and his mathematical notes were edited by Baxter for publication.
- Albert Ross Hill had graduated from Dalhousie University in the same year as Baxter and had also studied for a doctorate at Cornell but his topic was philosophy, not mathematics.
- A simple rectangular stone engraved with "Agnes B Hill, March 18, 1870.
- A graduate who did a notable part in that regard has just passed away - Agnes Baxter (Mrs A Ross Hill) ...
- Dalhousie University has, however, gone further in recognising Agnes Baxter.
- On 15 March 1988 the Agnes Baxter Reading Room in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computing Science at Dalhousie University was dedicated in a ceremony.
- The Sir William Young Gold Medal which Baxter won in 1891 was gifted to the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computing Science is on show forming part of a display in her memory.
Born 18 March 1870, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Died 9 March 1917, Columbia, Missouri, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Canada, Women
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive