Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Asuman Aksoy

Rights Information

© 2011 Kendra Huff


For a long time, women have struggled to gain complete acceptance in the mathematics field. The purpose of this paper is to explore the history of women in the field of mathematics, the impact and experiences of current female mathematicians, and the common trends for women in the mathematics field, through literature review and personal interviews. This paper looks at the lives of four famous female mathematicians, as well as female mathematicians in the Claremont Colleges who were interviewed for this paper. Specifically this paper examines the discrimination they faced and how they overcame this discrimination, as well as the contributions they have made to the mathematics field. In addition, studies about the effects of gender on mathematics achievement were explored. This paper tries to bring the conclusions of these studies together to present arguments from different perspectives. It also recognizes trends and changes in favor of women in the mathematics field in recent years. In spite of the contributions made by women and the improvements that have come about for women in the field, including the increased number of doctoral recipients, women still face challenges in gaining complete acceptance. Continued change can occur through mentoring and encouraging young women to pursue careers in the mathematics field.


  • Best Senior Thesis in Gender Studies