Public Lecture: Karen Parshall


Tuesday, 27 May 2014 - 6:00pm


Physics Theatre, UNSW (K14 on campus map)


The School of Mathematics and Statistics is proud to host this public lecture by esteemed mathematical historian, Professor Karen Parshall from the University of Virginia.

Becoming a Mathematician in Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century America: The Women’s Story.

Abstract: In the final decades of the nineteenth century, American women began to break into the research ranks in mathematics. These early developments resulted from significant changes in the higher education of women in the United States as well as from strategies implemented for "breaking into" established, non-coeducational universities both in the United States and abroad. Once these women successfully broke into the research ranks, however, their opportunities for employment and advancement were limited.

This talk will illuminate these historical contingencies by examining the stories of several early American women mathematicians.

This event is part of the School’s Women in Mathematics and Statistics program.  All welcome.
Prof. Karen Parshall
Karen Parshall is Professor of History and Mathematics at the University of Virginia, where she has served on the faculty since 1988.  Her research focuses primarily on the history of science and mathematics in America and on the history of 19th- and 20th-century algebra. In addition to exploring technical developments of algebra—the theory of algebras, group theory, algebraic invariant theory—she has worked on more thematic issues such as the development of national mathematical research communities (specifically in the United States and Great Britain) and the internationalization of mathematics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Professor Parshall was made an Inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012.  She has given numerous invited lectures at leading research institutes and conferences around the world, including the International Congress of Mathematicians in Zürich in 1994. Her most recent book (co-authored with Victor Katz), Taming the Unknown: A History of Algebra from Antiquity to the Early Twentieth Century, will be published by Princeton University Press in June 2014.



Download a poster advertising this public lecture.

Find the Physics Theatre at K14 on the Kensington Campus Map.