Women’s colleges provided essential opportunities for women as both professors and students. But, as Leff points out, “women’s colleges were colleges”, so they didn’t support the same type of sophisticated research that Geiringer had been doing in universities. Any research she did would be outside of her college duties and typically unpaid.
Geiringer never found in a US university a position equal to what she had in Germany and Turkey.
After accepting her post at Wheaton, Geiringer wrote to von Mises, “I hope there will be better conditions for the next generations of women. In the meantime, one has to go on as well as possible.”
And Geiringer did go on. She stayed at Wheaton, which granted her an honorary doctorate in mathematics, until her retirement in 1959, that same year, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She still did research when she found the time, but her most significant project post-immigration was compiling, editing, and publishing von Mises’ unfinished book in two editions after his death in 1953: Probably, Statistics, and Truth in 1964 and Mathematical Theory of Probability and Statistics in 1957.
Even if Geiringer didn’t get exactly what she wanted, she never gave up on chasing that deepest need in her life.
Ask people to imagine a scientist, and many of us will picture the same thing – a heterosexual white male. Historically, a number of challenges have made it much more difficult for those who don’t fit that stereotype to enter fields like science, math or engineering.
There are, however, many individuals from diverse backgrounds who have shaped our understanding of life and the Universe, but whose stories have gone untold – until now. With our new BBC Future column, we are celebrating the “missed geniuses” who made the world what it is today.
Portrait of Hilda Geiringer by Emmanuel Lafont.
If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “The Essential List”. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Worklife, and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.
- Mathematics matters – The Sunday Guardian
- Second week of HSC wraps up, Bathurst students complete Mathematics exams – Western Advocate
- CBSE 10th Maths sample paper 2020, exam pattern & important tips: Mathematics Basic & Mathematics Standar – Times of India
- Eskom Foundation rewards achievers in mathematics – ESI Africa
- On World Mathematics Day, Vidya Balan Promotes Shakuntala Devi Biopic with a Number Game – News18
- Fundraiser begins for White Terror victim memorial – Taipei Times
- How local schools fared at Saturday’s New Hope Classic soccer jamboree – The Commercial Dispatch
- ‘Bala’: Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam’s cute love mathematics is unmissable! – Times of India
- Vt. mirrors nation in scores | News – Rutland Herald
- American actress Hilary Duff uses Singapore Math books to coach her seven-year-old son – The Straits Times