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    Professor and Head of Department of Pure Mathematics in the Australian University's School of General Studies, Professor Hanna Neumann, 1964, courtesy of Australian National University (ANU). Photographer unknown. Used with permission..
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  • From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra
  • Where are the Women in Australian science?

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Neumann, Hanna (1914 - 1971)

Born
12 February 1914
Lankwitz, Berlin, Germany
Died
14 November 1971
Ottawa, Canada
Occupation
Mathematician
Alternative Names
  • Johanna von Caemmerer (birth name)
Website
http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/aasmemoirs/neumann.htm

Summary

Hanna Neumann was Professor and Head of the Department of Pure Mathematics, School of General Studies, Australian National University from 1964-71. Previously she worked as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Hull and University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, 1946-63.

Neumann became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1969.

Details

Neumann completed her D. Phil. At Oxford in 1944. She typed her thesis on a card table by a haystack when the weather permitted. Much of it was written in a caravan by candlelight. This was the only accommodation she could find in Oxford during World War Two.
She completed her education in Germany, at the Auguste-Viktoria-Schule and the University of Berlin. In 1938 she joined her fiance, Bernhard Hermann Neumann in Britain. A Jewish refugee from Germany, he held a lectureship in mathematics at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff. They were married on 22 December 1938 and went on to have five children.
In Australia as Professor of Pure mathematics at the Australian National University, she quickly became involved with secondary school teachers in the implementation of the mathematics syllabus for the Wyndham scheme in New South Wales. Together with a colleague in the first term of 1964, they ran a once-a-week course for teachers entitled 'The language of sets in school mathematics'. She maintained a direct involvement with secondary teachers of mathematics for the rest of her life.
Her own research was focused mainly on group theory; on problems related to free products with amalgamations, embeddings and varieties of groups. In her entry for the Australian Dictionary of Biography Kenneth Fowler stated that 'she found joy and beauty in the study of mathematics'.

Sources used to compile this entry: From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, Australian Women's Archives Project, February 2013, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/ldkg; Bright Sparcs : http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/.

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Hanna Neumann - Records, 1964 - 1972, MS 88; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Digital resources

Title
Professor and Head of Department of Pure Mathematics in the Australian University's School of General Studies, Professor Hanna Neumann
Type
Image
Date
1964
Source
Australian National University (ANU). Photographer unknown. Used with permission.

Details

Elle Morrell and Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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