Florence Nightingale Day: June Barrow-Green

Professor June Barrow-Green, Open University

Wednesday 17 April 2013, 1005-1035
Management School Building

"A Woman can win the victory, though she may not wear the wreath": women and mathematics in late 19th century Cambridge.

In 1880 Charlotte Scott caused a sensation by being the first woman to gain success in the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos, being ranked equal to eighth wrangler (i.e. having marks equivalent to those of the male student who had come eighth in the order of merit). Ten years later Philippa Fawcett caused an even greater sensation by being ranked above the senior wrangler. Their remarkable results, which were widely published in the local and national press, added fuel to contemporary debates on the emancipation of women. Nevertheless, despite their success and the success of others who followed them, it was not until 1948 that women could be awarded degrees at Cambridge. In my talk I shall discuss the achievements of women who studied mathematics in late 19th century Cambridge, putting them into the broader context of the Cambridge mathematical culture of the period.