Person: Wheeler, Anna Johnson Pell
Anna Johnson Wheeler was an American mathematician. She is best known for early work on linear algebra in infinite dimensions, which has later become a part of functional analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- They arrived in the United States in 1872 about 10 years before Anna was born.
- In 1899 Anna Johnson entered the University of South Dakota where she showed great promise in mathematics but also studied English, Physical Culture, History, German, Latin, French, Physics and Chemistry.
- The professor of mathematics, Alexander Pell, recognised her talents and helped persuade Anna that she should follow a career in mathematics.
- The records show that Anna studied Algebra and Trigonometry in 1899-1900, Modern Geometry, the Theory of Equations, and Solid Analytical Geometry in 1900-1901, Calculus, Analytical mechanics and Plane Analytical Geometry in 1901-02, and the Theory of Substitutions and Potential, Partial Differential Equations and Fourier Series, and Differential Equations in 1902-03.
- Anna received an A.B. degree in 1903.
- While at Iowa, Anna won a scholarship to Radcliffe College.
- Anna Johnson was awarded the Alice Freeman Palmer Fellowship from Wellesley College to study for a year abroad.
- In 1908 Anna Pell returned to Göttingen on her own.
- Anna Pell had published two papers in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society in 1909-10, namely On an integral equation with an adjoined condition and Existence theorems for certain unsymmetric kernels.
- Two further papers by Anna Pell appeared in the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society in 1911.
- In 1924 Anna Pell became head of mathematics when Charlotte Scott retired, being named Alumnae Professor of Mathematics in 1925.
- Arthur Wheeler (born in Connecticut in 1861) had been a classics lecturer at Bryn Maw who was widowed in 1915.
- He took up a position at Princeton shortly before his marriage to Anna.
- The couple built a summer home in the Adirondack mountains, in north-eastern New York State, which they named 'Q.E.D.' After the death of Arthur Wheeler, Anna Wheeler returned to full time work at Bryn Mawr where Emmy Noether joined her in 1933.
- The direction of Anna Wheeler's research was much influenced by David Hilbert.
- She served as an editor of the Annals of Mathematics from 1927 to 1945.
- When a pie that she had made for a big dinner party seemed to be a little too dark she would bake a second one and tell Mrs Wheeler that she thought the girls could eat the dark one.
- Much later, Mrs Wheeler, chuckling, told me that she thought that Mary made a pie a little dark on purpose.
- A description of Mrs Wheeler as a teacher would be incomplete without mentioning her appreciation of nature and how she shared it with us.
- In 1960, an anonymous donor gave money to establish an Anna Pell Wheeler prize at Bryn Mawr.
Born 5 May 1883, Calliope (now Hawarden), Iowa, USA. Died 26 March 1966, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
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