Person: Gould, Alice Bache
Alice Bache Gould was an American mathematician, philanthropist and historian, who spent much of her time in South America and Spain.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Benjamin Gould had been born in Boston and had studied mathematics and astronomy at Harvard, taught by Benjamin Peirce.
- After graduating Benjamin Gould had studied in Germany with Gauss, Bessel, Encke and others.
- Her high intelligence, sympathy, cooperation and courage transformed Gould's life and steeled him for every endeavour.
- Benjamin Gould was keen to observe the southern sky and approached the government of Argentina in 1865 with his plan to set up an observatory in Córdoba.
- A site was found for the observatory but in 1866 Gould was unable to raise sufficient funding.
- Alice's elementary schooling was partly in Córdoba where she was taught Hispanic history, culture and the Spanish language, and partly in the United States.
- In 1885 Benjamin Gould returned to Boston and, shortly after this Alice entered the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women (which later was named Radcliffe College) set up to provide education for women who were not allowed to study at Harvard University.
- Gould graduated with a B.A. in mathematics and physics in 1889.
- During the years 1890-93, Gould studied mathematics in England at Newnham College, Cambridge and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- They could attend lectures but, although there were moves to have women take degrees while Gould was studying there, it was not possible for women to graduate.
- Gould taught mathematics at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in the academic year 1893-94 but, being awarded a fellowship to undertake graduate work in mathematics at the University of Chicago, she began her studies there in 1894, advised by Eliakim Moore.
- This was the topic that Gould worked on for her Ph.D. but her progress was hampered by ill health.
- After a while she returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her thesis not yet completed but she did succeed in setting up the Benjamin Apthorp Gould Fund in 1897.
- Gould lectured on mathematics at times over the following few years, and worked on completing her thesis.
- The general public, and especially all lovers of nature, should feel indebted to Miss Gould for her excellent epitome of the life of the great teacher.
- In 1903, after a severe bout of flu, Gould decided to travel to Puerto Rico and spend time there recuperating.
- Gould saw the chance to continue her research into the colonisation of the West Indies and visited the Archive of the Indies in Seville.
- Gould's friend, after recovering, decided not to continue to Rome and returned to Boston.
- Gould remained in Spain undertaking the research which now fascinated her.
- Teaching appealed more to Gould than being a computer, so she worked at Chicago teaching the summer courses.
- Gould returned to Boston for the duration of the civil war but returned to Spain to live in Simancas.
- Gould intended to write a book on Columbus but when she died of a cerebral haemorrhage in 1953 the work was unpublished.
- Not only does Gould tell what she has found about de Torres in archives across Spain, but she also summarizes what has been written previously by historians.
- Those of Jewish blood whom Gould assigns to the first voyage are de Torres and Rodrigo Sánchez de Segovia, while she notes that Maese Bernal (a doctor), Marco (a surgeon) and Alfonso de la Calle were on board during the fourth voyage.
- Gould was honoured with the Cross of Alfonso the Wise (1924), election to the Spanish Royal Academy of History (1942), and the Order of Isabella the Catholic (1952).
Born 5 January 1868, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Died 25 July 1953, Simancas, Spain.
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