Uta Caecilia Merzbach (February 9, 1933 – June 27, 2017) was a German-American historian of mathematics who became the first curator of mathematical instruments at the Smithsonian Institution.
Merzbach was born in Berlin, where her mother was a philologist and her father was an economist who worked for the Reich Association of Jews in Germany during World War II. The Nazi government closed the association in June 1943; they arrested the family, along with other leading members of the association, and sent them to the Theresienstadt concentration camp on August 4, 1943.The Merzbachs survived the war and the camp, and after living for a year in a refugee camp in Deggendorf they moved to Georgetown, Texas in 1946, where her father found a faculty position at Southwestern University.
After high school in Brownwood, Texas, Merzbach entered Southwestern, but transferred after two years to the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. In 1954, she earned a master's degree there, also in mathematics.Merzbach became a school teacher, but soon returned to graduate study at Harvard University.
She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard in 1965. Her dissertation, Quantity of Structure: Development of Modern Algebraic Concepts from Leibniz to Dedekind, combined mathematics and the history of mathematics; it was jointly supervised by mathematician Garrett Birkhoff and historian of science I. Bernard Cohen.
Merzbach joined the Smithsonian as an associate curator in 1964, and served there until 1988 in the National Museum of American History. As well as collecting mathematical objects at the Smithsonian, she also collected interviews with many of the pioneers of computing.In 1991, she became the co-author of the second edition of A History of Mathematics, originally published in 1968 by Carl Benjamin Boyer. After her retirement she returned to Georgetown, Texas, where she died in 2017.
Annie Jump Cannon was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme, which was the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures and spectral types. She was nearly deaf throughout her career. She was a suffragist and a member of the National Women's Party.
Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck is an American mathematician and a founder of modern geometric analysis. She is a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, where she held the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair. She is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and a visiting senior research scholar at Princeton University.
James Joseph Rorimer, was an American museum curator and former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he was a primary force behind the creation of the Cloisters, a branch of the museum dedicated to the art and architecture of Medieval Europe. During World War II, Rorimer served in the U.S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section, a.k.a. the "Monuments Men," protecting cultural sites and recovering stolen art work.
Vernie Merze Tate was a professor, scholar and expert on United States diplomacy. She was the first African-American graduate of Western Michigan Teachers College, first African-American woman to attend the University of Oxford, first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in government and international relations from Harvard University, as well as one of the first two female members to join the Department of History at Howard University.
Judith Victor Grabiner is an American mathematician and historian of mathematics, who is Flora Sanborn Pitzer Professor Emerita of Mathematics at Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges. Her main interest is in mathematics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Jessie Daniel Ames was a suffragist and civil rights leader from Texas who helped create the anti-lynching movement in the American South. She was one of the first southern white women to speak out and work publicly against lynching of African Americans, murders which white men claimed to commit in an effort to protect women's "virtue." Despite risks to her personal safety, Ames stood up to these men and led organized efforts by white women to protest lynchings. She gained 40,000 signatures of southern women to oppose lynching, helping change attitudes and bring about a decline in these murders in the 1930s and 1940s.
Bess Lomax Hawes was an American folk musician, folklorist, and researcher. She was the daughter of John Avery Lomax and Bess Bauman-Brown Lomax, and the sister of Alan Lomax.
Lonnie G. Bunch III is an American educator and historian. Bunch is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the first African American and first historian to serve as head of the Smithsonian. He has spent most of his career as a history museum curator and administrator.
C. Malcolm Watkins (1911–2001) was an American historian, archaeologist, and curator. He researched early American material culture, with a specific interest in the decorative arts. Watkins served as a head curator of the Department of Cultural History at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He spent a total of 31 years working at the Smithsonian.
Philip Karl Lundeberg was an American naval historian and curator emeritus of the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of American History. At the time of his death in 2019, Lundeberg was the last survivor of the USS Frederick C. Davis sinking.
Karen Hunger Parshall is an American historian of mathematics. She is the Commonwealth Professor of History and Mathematics at the University of Virginia with a joint appointment in the Corcoran Department of History and Department of Mathematics. From 2009 to 2012, Parshall was the Associate Dean for the Social Sciences in the College of Arts in Sciences at UVA, and from 2016 to 2019 she was the chair of the Corcoran Department of History.
Sylvia D. Trimble Bozeman is an American mathematician and mathematics educator.
Agnes Mongan was an American art historian, who served as a curator and director for the Harvard Art Museums.
Carolyn Eisele was an American mathematician and historian of mathematics known as an expert on the works of Charles Sanders Peirce.
Philip Martin Whitman is an American mathematician who contributed to lattice theory, particularly the theory of free lattices.
Barbara L. Osofsky is a retired professor of mathematics at Rutgers University. Her research concerns abstract algebra. Osofsky's contributions to mathematics include her characterization of semisimple rings in terms of properties of cyclic modules. Osofsky also established a logical equivalence between the continuum hypothesis and statements about the global dimension of associative rings.
Hazel Marguerite Schmoll (1890–1990) was an American botanist, and the first to conduct a systematic study of plant life in southwestern Colorado. She was also the first woman to earn a doctorate in botany from the University of Chicago. She was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 1985.
Minerva Cordero Braña is a Puerto Rican mathematician, and a professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is also the university's Senior Associate Dean for the College of Science, where she is responsible for the advancement of the research mission of the college.
Beryl Brintnall Simpson is a professor emerita in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously she was an associate curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in the Department of Botany. She studies plant systematics and tropical botany, focusing on angiosperms found in the American Southwest, Mexico, and Central and South America. She was awarded the José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany for her decades of work on the subject.
Ivy Fay Hooks is an American mathematician and engineer who worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She joined NASA after graduating from the University of Houston with a master's degree in mathematics and physics in 1965. Her first assignment was with the Apollo program, where she worked on the modeling of lighting on the Moon and the dynamics of the launch escape system, among other projects. She then went on to play an important role in the design and development of the Space Shuttle, being one of only two women engineers assigned to the original design team for the orbiter.