Agnes Baxter (1870 - 1917)
Agnes Baxter was born on March 18, 1870 in Halifax,
Nova Scotia, Canada. She was a student at
Dalhousie University from 1887 to 1892. In 1891 she received her BA with
first class honours in Mathematics, the first woman to receive this
distinction at Dalhousie, and was the winner of the Sir William Young Gold
Medal. In 1892, she received an MA in Mathematics, also from Dalhousie.
From Dalhousie, Agnes Baxter went to Cornell University where she did
graduate work in mathematics, won a fellowship, and was awarded the degree
of Ph.D. in 1895. Her thesis, "On Abelian Integrals, a Resume of Neumann's
Abelsche Integral with Comments and Applications" was written under the
direction of J.E.Oliver. She was the fourth woman to receive a Ph.D. in
Mathematics in North America, and the second Canadian woman to do so.
In 1896 she was married to A. Ross Hill, also a graduate of Dalhousie with
an 1895 Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell University. In 1903 Ross Hill
became president of the University of Missouri. Unfortunately, Agnes Baxter
Hill was in ill health for many years. After her untimely death
on March 9, 1917 at the age
of 47, President Hill made a gift of books to Dalhousie "... to perpetuate
the memory of one of its loyal graduates, who gave her life to assist in my
educational work instead of making an independent record for herself." In
1988, Dalhousie dedicated the Agnes Baxter Reading Room in the Department of
Mathematics, Statistics and Computing Science.
From the Biographies
of Women Mathematicians Web Site, maintained by Larry Riddle, Agnes Scott
College, Atlanta, GA.
other resources and useful information on Women in Mathematics (past and
present) can be found on the web pages of the
Canadian Mathematical Society.
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