Person: Swart, Hendrika
Henda Swart was the first person to be awarded a doctorate in mathematics from Stellenbosch University. She worked on the geometry of projective planes and graph theory. She became professor of mathematics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and served as editor-in-chief of the journal Utilitas Mathematica.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- She was named Hendrika Cornelia Scott and only became known as Henda Swart after her marriage to the mathematician John Henry Swart (1940-2012).
- It was at university that she met John Henry Swart who, after undergraduate studies, earned an M.Sc. from the University of Stellenbosch.
- In addition to teaching at the University of Natal, Swart undertook part-time studies at the University of Stellenbosch aiming at writing a geometry thesis to obtain her doctorate.
- Swart's degree was the first D.Sc. in mathematics awarded by the University of Stellenbosch.
- Swart spent a sabbatical leave at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
- Swart thought that these were exercises for the class and attempted to solve them but was surprised to find that she could not solve some of them.
- Entringer was, however, very impressed with the progress that she had made and this led to a joint publication by Swart and Entringer, Spanning cycles of nearly cubic graphs (1980).
- The date on this paper is slightly confusing since the two authors submitted it for publication in July 1977 while Swart was at the University of New Mexico.
- While on sabbatical at Westfield College, London, Swart met a mathematics student Klaus Vedder.
- The two papers we have just mentioned are the first of nearly 100 papers on graph theory which Swart has written.
- The Society's website gives the following information about Swart.
- Many of Swart's students have explained how positive she was in their development as mathematicians.
- This special person was Professor Henda Swart of the mathematics department of the University of Natal.
- From 2014 until her death, Swart lectured part-time at the University of Cape Town.
Born 1939, South Africa. Died 23 February 2016, South Africa.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
African, Origin South Africa, Women
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive