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Women's History
Women in Mathematics

Women's History
Women's History

Women in Mathematics
Print Women in Mathematics Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.1

     challenging words:    euphemia, Hypatia, Ladd, polar-area, post-graduate, colorblindness, masculine, mathematics, mathematical, doctorate, thesis, acceptance, statistics, astronomy, numerous, withdraw
     content words:    In Ancient Egypt, Euphemia Lofton Haynes, Smith College, Miner Teachers College, Catholic University, Christine Ladd-Franklin, Wesleyan Academy, Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins, Winifred Edgerton

Women in Mathematics
By Phyllis Naegeli

1     Do you like numbers? Have you ever found yourself adding the numbers on a license plate together? Throughout history, women have enjoyed math. In Ancient Egypt, Theano, who was married to Pythagoras, carried on her husband's work after his death. Hypatia was another Egyptian woman who excelled in mathematics. Let's meet some more women who have contributed to the world of numbers.
2     Euphemia Lofton Haynes was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics. Her undergraduate work at Smith College earned her a degree in mathematics in 1914. After marrying, she went to the University of Chicago and earned a master's degree in education. She began teaching in the public schools in Washington, D.C. She also served as professor of mathematics at Miner Teachers College. During these years, she continued her education at Catholic University of America. In 1943, she was awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics.
3     Christine Ladd-Franklin began to gain an interest in mathematics after finishing college. She was a student at Wesleyan Academy and attended Vassar where she studied languages. After graduating from Vassar, she began to work on solving mathematical problems. She published some of her work, and studied at Harvard. In 1876, she sent her application to a new mathematics fellowship program at Johns Hopkins University. At this time, women were not allowed to attend the school. However, after seeing the credentials attached to the application, the school accepted "C. Ladd" without an interview. They later discovered that "C" stood for Christine and attempted to withdraw the acceptance. After a professor insisted that she be admitted, Christine began to study at Johns Hopkins. She completed the requirements for a doctorate. However, she was not awarded the degree for nearly forty-four years. Her life work with colors helped doctors to understand colorblindness.

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