Anna Pell Wheeler

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Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler (born May 5, 1883 in Calliope , Iowa , † March 26, 1966 in Bryn Mawr ) was an American mathematician .

Wheeler was the daughter of Swedish immigrants and grew up in Akron , Iowa. From 1899 she studied at the University of South Dakota , where Alexander Pell was her teacher. She completed her bachelor's degree in 1903 and received her master's degree from the University of Iowa ( The extension of Galois theory to linear differential equations ), where she studied with Maxime Bôcher and William Fogg Osgood , in 1904, and a master's degree from Radcliffe College in 1905. A In the 12th year she was a student at the University of Göttingen , where she heard from David Hilbert , Felix Klein , Hermann Minkowski , Gustav Herglotz and Karl Schwarzschild and where she worked on her dissertation. In between, she married her former teacher Alexander Pell in Göttingen in 1907 and lectured at the University of South Dakota, where her husband was dean. He was 25 years older than her, gave up teaching after a stroke in 1911 and died in 1921.

Originally, she wanted to do a doctorate in Göttingen, but because of a dispute with Hilbert (Hilbert was developing his theory of integral equations at the time and Wheeler had worked independently in the same field), nothing came of it, and she received her doctorate in 1909 from Eliakim Hastings Moore at the University of Chicago , with the same work on biorthogonal function systems with applications to integral equations that she had submitted in Göttingen. From 1911 she taught at Mount Holyoke College and from 1918 at Bryn Mawr College . In 1924 she became head of the mathematics faculty there as the successor to Charlotte Angas Scott and was given a full professorship in 1925. She stayed there until her retirement in 1948, interrupted by a brief second marriage to Arthur Wheeler, in which she lived in Princeton, where her husband had become a Latin professor at the university. After his death in 1932 she was back in Bryn Mawr, where the famous mathematician Emmy Noether came in 1933, especially on Wheeler's initiative, but who died two years later.

In 1927 she was the first woman to be a Colloquium Lecturer of the American Mathematical Society (Theory of quadratic forms in infinitely many variables and applications). The next woman to receive this honor was Julia Robinson as recently as 1980 .

Wheeler was intermittent on the Council of the American Mathematical Society and co-editor of the Annals of Mathematics for 18 years . She was an honorary doctor of the New Jersey College of Women and Mount Holyoke College.

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