Person: Newson, Mary Frances Winston
Mary Newson was an American mathematician. She became the first female American to receive a PhD in mathematics from a European university.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Her parents were Thomas Winston, a country doctor, and Caroline Eliza Mumford.
- Thomas Winston had been born in Wales but had come to the United States at the age of two years when his parents emigrated.
- Ambrose earned his bachelor's degree in 1887 but Mary took a year out to teach in a high school before graduating with an A.B. from the University of Wisconsin in 1889.
- However, it was left considerable funds by Jason Downer in 1883 and was providing general education for women when Winston taught there.
- After teaching at Downer College for a year, Winston applied for a mathematics fellowship at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
- Charlotte Scott was the professor of mathematics at Bryn Mawr and she encouraged Winston to apply again for the fellowship in the following year having narrowly failed to gain the fellowship at her first attempt.
- Winston taught for a second year at Downer College and was awarded a fellowship to study at Bryn Mawr College in the following year.
- After spending the year 1891-92 at Bryn Mawr College, Winston decided to apply to continue her studies at the University of Chicago which was opening on 1 October 1892.
- Winston was awarded a fellowship to study at Chicago and she spent the year 1892-93 there.
- Winston was a participant.
- This two-week Colloquium, attended by 24 mathematicians including Winston, was arranged to allow Klein to deliver a course of 12 lectures, one on each day.
- Winston, encouraged by Bolza and Maschke, was keen to study abroad.
- Maschke wrote to Klein in April 1893, before his trip to the United States, telling him about Winston's wish to study in Germany.
- He decided that it was, but Winston required financial support to be able to study for a doctorate in Germany so she applied to the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (now called the American Association of University Women).
- Christine Ladd-Franklin had proposed that this organisation establish a European Fellowship in 1888 and, when the Association of Collegiate Alumnae decided not to support Winston, Christine Ladd-Franklin wrote to her offering a grant of $500 to study abroad.
- Although she did not know whether Göttingen would accept her, Winston travelled to Germany for the beginning of the 1893-94 academic year.
- The Association of Collegiate Alumnae gave Winston a fellowship to fund her during the academic year 1895-96.
- Grace Chisholm had been awarded a doctorate in 1895, so Winston became the second woman, and the first American, student to be awarded a doctorate by Göttingen.
- Henry Newson (1860-1910) was a professor of mathematics at the University of Kansas and had published the book Continuous groups of projective transformations treated synthetically (1895).
- Although she was not now employed as a mathematician, Winston did translate Hilbert's 'Mathematical problems', which he had delivered in 1900, into English and her 40-page translation (made with Hilbert's permission) was published in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society in 1902.
- In 1910 Henry Newson died following a heart attack.
- After she finished teaching at Eureka College, Newson moved to Lake Dalecarlia in Lowell, Indiana.
- This was a village beside a picturesque artificial lake which Newson loved and had spent vacations there throughout her life.
- The reason that the lecture is on International Relations, is that this was one of Newson's hobbies.
Born 7 August 1869, Forreston, Illinois, USA. Died 5 December 1959, Poolesville, Maryland, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin Usa, Women
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive