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Charlotte Barnum ( 1860 - 1934 )  Category ( Mathematicians ) [suggest a correction]
 

Born in Massachusetts as the daughter of Reverend Samuel Weed Barnum and Charlotte Betts Barnum, Charlotte’s early learning was discovered through private school education. She attended prep school in New Haven and went on to attend Vassar where she graduated in 1881.

Barnum taught astronomy after she graduated from college. She taught at Bett’s Academy, Smith College and Hillhouse School. After teaching astronomy at various schools, she decided to continue her own education.

Enrolling at John Hopkins University, Charlotte began studying mathematics, astronomy, and physics. She studied there from 1890 until 1892. Charlotte didn’t graduate from John Hopkins but instead moved to Yale University. In 1895, she crossed another educational milestone when she became one of the first three Yale women to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics before the year 1900.

After earning her Ph.D. in mathematics, she held various positions of employment. She taught at Carlton College, she worked as an actuary in insurance, took a position at the U.S. Naval Observatory and later with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Charlotte Barnum also worked as a proofreader and handled some editorial work for Yale but it is believed that she did this as a volunteer.

From 1921 until 1923, Charlotte Barnum taught mathematics in prep schools located in New York. She then taught in Massachusetts. Barnum’s career led her through various teaching positions where she was able to teach mathematics.

Charlotte Barnum was one of the first members of the American Mathematical Society. She joined the organization in 1894. Charlotte Barnum died in 1934 leaving behind a trail of students of mathematics eager to carry on her legacy and love for numbers.


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