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Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler (1883-1966)

Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler (1883-1966)

Wheeler was born in Hawarden, Iowa, to Swedish immigrants. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago under the direction of E.H. Moore in 1909 with work in integral equations. While working towards her doctorate, she studied in Germany under David Hilbert in the new field of functional analysis. In particular she studied infinite dimensional linear spaces. In 1918 Wheeler took a position at Bryn Mawr, where she became department chair in 1924. In 1927 Wheeler became the first woman to give the Colloquium Lectures of the American Mathematical Society (the next would be Julia Robinson in 1980.) Her talk was on the "Theory of quadratic forms in infinitely many variables and applications". She was an editor of the Annals of Mathematics for 18 years and retired from Bryn Mawr in 1948.

Courtesy of the Visual Collections, Canaday Library, Bryn Mawr College.

This photo and biography was featured on MAA's Women of Mathematics poster.

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Photo taken on 1 March 2012 (© Mathematical Association of America / Flickr)

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