Person: Busbridge, Ida
Ida Busbridge worked on integral equations and radiative transfer. She was the first woman appointed to an Oxford fellowship in mathematics. She taught at the University of Oxford for 35 years.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- We are unsure of Percival Busbridge's occupation and only have the following information.
- Captain Percival George Busbridge of the 2nd Kent Royal Artillery (Volunteers) was appointed as Captain in the 2nd Kent Royal Artillery on 1 April 1908, in other words as a professional member of the platoon instead of his former volunteer status.
- Before we embark on Ida Busbridge's biography, let us give a little more information about her siblings.
- Walter George Busbridge, born 23 February 1901, studied physics and became Head of Industrial Liaison, Isotope Research Division, Harwell, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.
- Evelyn May Busbridge attended King's College, London, and was awarded a B.A. in 1924.
- Percival Hugh Busbridge also attended King's College, London, and was awarded a B.Sc. Eng.
- Ida began her primary school education at the L.C.C. School in Plumstead in 1914 when she was six years old.
- Busbridge was always grateful for the education she received at Christ's Hospital and continued to take an interest in the school throughout her life.
- While at Christ's Hospital, Busbridge was awarded the Cambridge School Certificate in 1923, and the Higher School Certificate with Intermediate Exemption in 1925 and the Higher School Certificate with Intermediate Exemption in 1926.
- When Busbridge entered Royal Holloway College she was intending to specialise in physics and she took the General B.Sc. course in 1926-27 and again in 1927-28.
- Having changed to specialise in mathematics Busbridge took the B.Sc. (Special) course in 1928-29.
- She was also awarded the Sir John Lubbock Prize for the best First Class honours of any internal or external candidate.
- Busbridge did not miss out on the social life of the university for she was in the Choral Society in 1926 and 1927 then, in the University choir in 1928.
- When Dr Wrinch left England for America in 1938 Ida inherited her responsibility for the teaching of women mathematicians and in 1945 was appointed Fellow and Tutor at St Hugh's.
- In addition to teaching at St Hugh's College, Busbridge worked towards a D.Phil.
- St Hugh's making her a fellow in 1945 was, almost certainly, the result of Busbridge applying for a post at Cambridge since she was frustrated by the lack of opportunities for female academics in Oxford.
- Certainly Busbridge gained the reputation as a demanding tutor.
- Clare Richardson (St Hugh's 1954) recalled that Dr Busbridge kept assigning more and more work every week to her and her tutorial partner until they finally gaped at her in astonishment.
- Ida Busbridge, a graduate of Royal Holloway College in the University of London, believed that this system was inappropriate for women undergraduates who had not experienced the rigorous preparation for Oxford available in many boys' schools.
- Throughout the 1940s and 1950s Ida Busbridge was the spokeswoman for the teaching of women undergraduate mathematicians at Oxford, both in the University and in schools, and completely changed how things were done.
- At St Hugh's College, Busbridge was friends with Madge Gertrude Adam (1912-2001).
- Influenced by her friend Adam, Busbridge applied her mathematical skills to problems in solar physics.
- This was the first of several papers that Busbridge published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
- Busbridge submitted this book, together with other publications, to Oxford University for the degree of D.Sc. After the submission was examined by E C Titchmarsh and D W N Stibbs, she was awarded the degree of D.Sc. in 1961.
- The Analysis Committee met on Saturday afternoons at St Hugh's and was sustained by wonderful teas which Ida provided.
- In 1970, Busbridge retired from St Hugh's College.
Born 10 February 1908, Plumstead, Kent, England. Died 27 December 1988, Bromley, Kent, 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