Women in Maths


Photograph showing the a completed L.L.A. scheme certificate from 1902. The certificate is signed by the Vice-Chancellor and two L.L.A. scheme examiners.
Completed L.L.A. Certificate from 1902.
Image credit: University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums.

Lady Literate in Mathematics

Did you know that the University of St Andrews created one of the world’s first higher educational qualifications for women, allowing them to study university-level mathematics long before they were admitted onto degree courses in Scotland?


A portrait of Margaret Murray taken in 1934. She has mid-length hair and is wearing a necklace, a sash and a dress.
Margaret Murray, 1934.
Image courtesy of Hutchesons’ Grammar School.

Margaret Murray: Mathematician and Mountaineer

Did you know that the University of St Andrews’ first female graduate in mathematics and natural philosophy, Margaret Murray, became the Principal Teacher of Mathematics at Hutchesons’ Grammar School for Girls in Glasgow as well as the Secretary and later President of the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club?


An image showing Jane Wadsworth. Hell full face is visible. She has short, grey hair and is wearing long earrings.
Jane Wadsworth in 1992.
Image credit: fair dealing via BBC2 Horizon Special: The Truth About Sex.

Jane Wadsworth and the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles 

Did you know that St Andrews mathematics graduate Jane Wadsworth was an important figure in the near eradication of HIV in the UK?  


An image of Florence Nightingale's Polar Area Diagram. It represents monthly casualty numbers of British troops by infectious diseases, wounds, and other causes. It does this by segmenting a circle into 12 sections, with larger sections corresponding to a higher death rate and sub-sections indicating the number of troops killed by the three different categories.
Polar Area Diagram.
Image credit: public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Florence Nightingale and the Polar Area Diagram

Did you know that only 4% of mathematicians worldwide in the late 19th century were women? Despite this, numerous women had a major influence on the field; Florence Nightingale is especially well-known for her statistical innovations in the field of public health.


A hand drawn portrait of Hypatia. She is pictured from the shoulders up, the right-hand side of her head facing the viewer. Her hair is tied into a bun and she is wearing a small headband.
Portrait of Hypatia.
Image credit: Elbert Hubbard, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Hypatia

Did you know that an early female mathematician was murdered by an angry mob? 


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