Person: Scott (2), Charlotte Angas
Charlotte Angas Scott studied at Cambridge but was not allowed to take her degree. After graduate work at Cambridge she became the first Head of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania USA.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- We note at this point that the Rev Caleb Scott, B.A., LL.
- There were only two secondary schools in England taking women pupils at this time and neither was anywhere near to where Charlotte lived.
- This College, the first women's college in England, had been founded in 1869, only a few years before Scott began her studies there.
- At the top Miss Herschel was standing on a sort of dais, and when we had finished singing she recited an ode to Miss Scott, composed by Miss Welsh for the occasion, and then crowned her with laurels, while we clapped and applauded with all our might.
- It wasn't only the ladies of Girton who celebrated Scott's success and saw the injustice of the situation.
- Scott's achievement in the Mathematical Tripos had a significant effect on women's education at Cambridge for in the year after she graduated, women were officially allowed to study the Mathematical Tripos.
- This did not happen at Cambridge for many years after Scott's time and it was as late as 1948 before women could be awarded a Cambridge degree.
- Scott continued research at Girton on algebraic geometry under Arthur Cayley's supervision.
- Scott became only one of three members of the academic staff at Girton.
- On Cayley's recommendation, Scott was appointed there and became the first head of the Bryn Mawr mathematics department.
- In her lectures to advanced students Scott brought a sense of elegance and excitement; she gave them a sense of mathematical style.
- Scott urged those teaching in other Colleges in the United States to set up a joint examination board for secondary school students.
- As the result of her initiative, the College Board was set up in 1901 and Scott acted as the chief mathematics examiner in 1902 and 1903.
- At Bryn Mawr, Scott supervised the theses of seven Ph.D. students: Ruth Gentry (1894), Ada Isabel Maddison (1896), Virginia Ragsdale (1906), Louise D Cummings (1914), Mary Gertrude Haseman (1917), Bird M Turner (1920), and Marguerite Lehr (1925).
- Scott set up the Bryn Mawr College Mathematics Journal Club which was designed to provide a meeting place for Ph.D. students, recent graduates and members of staff where they would lecture on their recent mathematical research or on mathematical papers they had been reading and found to be important.
- In 1894 Scott published an important textbook An Introductory Account of Certain Modern Ideas and Methods in Plane Analytical Geometry.
- In 1891, six years after she took up the post at Bryn Mawr, Scott became active in the New York Mathematical Society which had been founded in 1888.
- Scott's health began to deteriorate from 1904 when she suffered a bad bout of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Former students of the Department of Mathematics of Bryn Mawr College organised a mathematical meeting in Taylor Hall on Tuesday, 18 April 1922, to honour Scott on the completion of her thirty-seventh year as head of the Department of Mathematics in Bryn Mawr College.
- A life's work such as that of Professor Charlotte Angas Scott is worth more to the world than many anxious efforts of diplomatists.
- After her return to Cambridge in 1925, Scott's hearing prevented her taking much part in life at the University.
- Another of her interests was gardening and, like so many of the things that Scott did, she took it very seriously.
- Scott never seemed to find life in America particularly happy.
- In 1897 Scott bought a house of her own and arranged for a cousin to come from England to act as her housekeeper.
- Having never really made a social life for herself in the United States, Scott left returned to England as soon as she felt she had completed her duties after retirement and bought a home in Cambridge where she lived out the last few years of her life.
Born 8 June 1858, Lincoln, England. Died 10 November 1931, Cambridge, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin England, Women
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive