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STEM Women Hall of Fame: Winifred Edgerton Merrill


STEM Women Hall of Fame Facts: Winifred Edgerton Merrill

STEM Women Hall of Fame Facts: Winifred Edgerton Merrill

  • Born: September 24, 1862 in Ripon, Wisconsin
  • PhD Thesis Title: "Multiple Integrals and Their Geometrical Interpretation of Cartesian Geometry, in Trilinears and Triplanars, in Tangentials, in Quaternions, and in Modern Geometry; Their Analytical Interpretations in the Theory of Equations, Using Determinants, Invariants and Covariants as Instruments in the Investigation."
  • Historical context: Considered less intelligent than men at the time, women were often discouraged from pursuing education beyond a bachelor's degree and were largely expected to become school teachers after college, as the Civil War had put a drain on the country's supply of male teachers.

Pons-Brooks comet

In reporting on the landmark graduation, The New York Times noted:

...Nothing unusual occurred until Miss Winifred Edgerton, A.B., Wellesley College, came to the stage to accept her degree...She was greeted with a terrific round of applause which the gallant students in the body of the house kept up for fully two minutes...She bore herself modestly and well in the face of the applaust of the Professors and Trustees on the stage, and the slight flush on her face was perceptible only to those quite near her."

Topics in this Post: stem hall of fame, stem women, math