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Notable Women


Hannah Fry studies patterns of human behavior and mathematics as a professor of Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) was an Experimental Physicist from China who contributed to the field of nuclear physics.

Rajeswari Chatterjee (1922-2010) returned to India from the US in 1953, after her PhD from the University of Michigan – as a faculty member. Chatterjee, the first woman engineer at the Indian Institute of Science, joined the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering (ECE). In a career spanning about 30 years, Chatterjee pioneered research in microwave engineering, wrote several textbooks, and mentored many students until she retired in 1981. Her contributions to microwave research are still used in RADAR technology and defense applications.

Aditi Pant is an Oceanographer and was the first Indian woman to explore Antarctica.

Joyce Bell Burnell is an Irish Astrophysicist who co-discovered the first radio-pulsar

Nashwa Eassa is a Nano-Particle Physicist from Sudan who won the Elsevier Foundation Award for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World.

Godliver Businge is a Civil Engineer from Uganda and Head Technology trainer for Global Women’s Water Initiative.

Mae Jemison is an African American Engineer and Physician who launched as a NASA Astronaut on the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017) was an Iranian Mathematician and is the only woman to have ever won the Fields Medal.

Mamie Johnson in 1950 worked as a "computer"— a kind of mathematician—who In December 1943 started working for NACA’s West Area Computing unit, a group of African American female mathematicians or “human computers,” performing complex computations and analyzing data for aerospace engineers. The West Computers, as the women were known, provided data that were later essential to the success of the early U.S. space program.

Asima Chatterjee (1917-2006) was the first woman to be awarded a Doctor of Science (organic chemistry) by an Indian University - in 1944, at the University of Calcutta. She was also the first woman to be elected as the General President of the Indian Science Congress, a premier institution that oversees scientific research.

Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) studied physics and chemistry at Cambridge. She then went to work for the British Coal Utilization Research Association where her work on the porosity of coal became her Ph.D. thesis. In 1946, she perfected her skills in X-ray crystallography, which would become her life's work and then accepted a job at King's College (London).

Elsie MacGill (1905-1980) graduated from the University of Toronto (1927) with a degree in electrical engineering, and graduated from the University of Michigan (1929) with a master's degree in aeronautical engineering. Elsie was the first female aircraft designer in the world.

Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941) was born in Dover, Delaware. Cannon studied spectroscopy, which is a science that deals with how radiant energy and matter interact.

Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau (1910-2000) was an innovative chemical engineer who designed the first commercial penicillin plant. This plant enabled scientists to produce large quantities of the life-saving drug.

Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890-1980) was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1943 and she taught in the public school system of Washington, D.C. for 47 years.