Person: Hazlett, Olive Clio
Olive Clio Hazlett was an American mathematician who worked in algebra. Between 1914 and 1930 she published fourteen papers that were presented at meetings of the American Mathematical Society. She did outstanding work for the Cryptanalysis Committee during World War II.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Olive studied at the Laura Memorial Woman's Medical College in Cincinnati and, after being licensed to practice medicine in 1898, she became a doctor at the Reformatory Prison for Women in Sherborn Town, near Boston, in 1899.
- After graduating from the Dorchester High School, Olive Clio Hazlett entered Radcliffe College in 1909.
- Hazlett graduated from Radcliffe College in 1912 and then went to the University of Chicago to undertake research in algebra.
- Miss Hazlett was unable to pursue research work in France and Germany, and spent the year in Cambridge, Massachusetts, attending certain Harvard University lectures, but chiefly in research work along the lines of her doctor's thesis, 'Classification and Invariantive Characterization of Nilpotent Algebras'.
- At the December meeting of the American Mathematical Society, Dr Hazlett presented a paper on this subject and a second one at the September Colloquium of the Society.
- The fellowship was awarded to Dr Hazlett for a second year, with the expectation that an important advance would be made in the subject where she had already obtained interesting and satisfactory results, but at the same time as the award of the fellowship, an appointment at Bryn Mawr College was offered to Miss Hazlett which she felt constrained to accept.
- After two years at Bryn Mawr, Hazlett was appointed as Assistant Professor at Mount Holyoke.
- In 1924 Mount Holyoke promoted her to Associate Professor, but Hazlett was dedicated to research in algebra and she was unhappy with the many classes she had to teach leaving her little time for research.
- She was also on a committee of the American Association of University Professors consisting of Harold H Bender (Chairman), Anna A Cutler, Olive C Hazlett and Robert K Root which produced the 109-page report The Selection, Retention, and Promotion of Undergraduates (1926).
- The facilities at Mount Holyoke, such as the library, were not really what an ambitious researcher required so Hazlett decided to move on.
- The International Congress of Mathematicians in Bologna which Hazlett mentions at the end of the above quote was one to which she presented the paper Integers as Matrices.
- Hazlett's course was based mainly on the first volume of van der Waerden, with, of course, some deletions and additions.
- which Hazlett spent mainly in Colorado, first in Denver and then in Estes Park.
- A court order committed Hazlett to the Neuropsychiatric Institute of the University of Illinois in Chicago in November 1944.
- She was released but the Champaign County Court committed Hazlett to Kankakee State Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois in March 1945.
- Hazlett could not claim the exclusive rights for these ideas, however, since Dickson presented the same generalisation at the same meeting.
- (This, perhaps, represented a bitter sweet moment for Dickson (and Hazlett, for that matter), bitter in that he was not the only one presenting a more general theory but sweet in that he had trained his student well.) Like Dickson, Hazlett certainly placed a high value on research mathematics.
- In particular, although she continued to draw from his work, Hazlett apparently neither tended to consult Dickson directly about her employment dilemmas nor to keep him informed of her research.
- In short, for Hazlett, Dickson served as a role model rather than a mentor.
- Interestingly, Hazlett consulted E H Moore and Herbert Slaught (and not Dickson) about professional decisions.
- In 1918, Hazlett wrote Moore concerning her dismissal from Bryn Mawr and Slaught regarding her subsequent job offer from Mount Holyoke.
- As an aside, Hazlett's 1925 letter to Moore candidly depicts the dilemmas faced by women attempting to do research mathematics at institutions without adequate libraries or sabbatical opportunities.
- See Olive Hazlett to E H Moore, January 29, 1918; Olive C Hazlett to Herbert S Slaught, February 25, 1918; and Olive Hazlett to E H Moore, March 11, 1925.
Born 27 October 1890, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Died 8 March 1974, Keene, New Hampshire, USA.
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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