Person: Pairman, Eleanor
Eleanor Pairman graduated from Edinburgh. She went to London where she worked with Karl Pearson and then went to the USA where she gained a doctorate from Radcliffe College.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Her parents were John Pairman, a solicitor at the Supreme Courts of Scotland, and Helen Dunlop.
- John Pairman died before Eleanor was five years old.
- Pairman sat the Scottish Leaving Certificate examinations passing Lower Dynamics and Lower Science, with Higher passes in English, French, Latin, Mathematics, and Analytical Geometry.
- The First Year Chemistry Course was taught by James Walker, and Pairman did well, but not brilliantly, being ranked Second Class.
- Supported by the scholarship, Pairman spent the academic year 1917-18 undertaking graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh.
- Very rarely indeed have we had the good fortune of teaching a student with such a strong predilection for mathematical study as Miss Pairman undoubtedly possesses.
- Leaving Edinburgh, Pairman went to London where she worked for a year for Karl Pearson in the Department of Applied Statistics at University College London as a computer (at this time computers were people and not machines!).
- From London, Pairman went to the United States to undertake research at Radcliffe College arriving in New York on 12 October 1919.
- Pairman joined the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in January 1917, and read the paper On a difference equation due to Stirling to the meeting of the Society on 11 January 1918, and the paper A new form of the remainder in Newton's interpolation formula to the next meeting of the Society on 8 February.
- After about five years she informed the Society that her name was now Mrs Eleanor Pairman Brown.
- Pairman had met Bancroft Huntington Brown when both were graduate students and they had both been awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics in June 1922.
- The College was founded in 1769 as a men's College with an all male teaching staff and when Bancroft Brown was appointed this was still the case so there was no possibility that Eleanor could teach at the College.
- In 1927 she published a joint mathematics paper On a class of integral equations with discontinuous kernels with Rudolph E Langer, who was a friend who graduated from Harvard in a June 1922 ceremony as Eleanor Pairman and Bancroft Brown and, like Eleanor, had George Birkhoff as his thesis advisor.
- However, Eleanor Brown later undertook task to help students who were blind.
- Although she had not been employed as a mathematician after being awarded her doctorate, Eleanor Brown did take up an appointment as a part-time Instructor in Mathematics at Dartmouth College in September 1955 and taught there for the next four academic years.
- John Kemeny, who was appointed to the Mathematics Department at Dartmouth in 1953, became chairman of the Department at the same time that Eleanor Brown began her teaching post at the College.
Born 8 June 1896, Broomieknowe, Lasswade, near Edinburgh, Scotland. Died 14 September 1973, White River Junction, Vermont, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Scotland, Women
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive