Dame Mary Lucy Cartwright(1900-1998), Mathematician
Sitter in 5 portraits
Cartwright was one of five women studying mathematics at St Hugh's College, Oxford, and the first woman to receive a First class honours degree in the subject in 1923. After teaching for several years, she returned to Oxford to do a doctorate and met John Littlewood, an external examiner who would become a lifelong collaborator. Together they researched non-linear differential equations and worked on solutions of the Van der Pol equation, laying the foundations of the chaos and catastrophe theory. Elected to a Yarrow Research Fellowship in 1930, Cartwright was director of studies of mathematics at Girton College, Cambridge within six years. Between 1960 and 1963, she was the president of the London Mathematical Society.