Friday, November 3, 2000
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
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"Women Becoming Mathematicians: The Doctoral Classes of 1940-1959"

Margaret Murray , Department of Mathematics, Virginia Tech
[Host: Simonetta Liuti]
I give a report on an oral history-based study of the approximately 200 women who earned Ph.D.'s in mathematics from American colleges and universities during the years 1940-1959. I focus in some detail on the following questions: How did the women of this generation develop their mathematical interests and ambitions? Which individuals and institutions were particularly supportive of their mathematical goals? What obstacles to professional success did they encounter as they tried to build careers in mathematics? How did they balance the competing demands of career and personal life? How did they strike a balance between teaching, research, and service to the profession? What lessons can contemporary mathematicians, male and female, learn from the experiences of this generation?

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