Hazlett, Olive C. (1890–1974)

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Hazlett, Olive C. (1890–1974)

American mathematician . Born Olive Clio Hazlett in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1890; died in 1974; attended public schools in Boston, Massachusetts; Radcliffe College, B.A., 1912; University of Chicago, S.M., 1913, Ph.D., 1915.

Deemed one of the most notable American women in the field of mathematics, Olive C. Hazlett was a pioneering academic in an area dominated by men. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1890, but moving to Boston at the age of nine, she attended public schools and received her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe in 1912. Hazlett obtained both her S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago, writing her master's thesis and her doctoral dissertation on linear associative algebras. She began her academic career at Harvard (1915–16) as an Alice Freeman Palmer Fellow of Wellesley College, then, in the fall of 1916, she moved on to teach at Bryn Mawr, After two years, she took a position as assistant professor at Mount Holyoke, where she shifted her attention to modular invariants and covariants.

In 1925, wanting more time for research, she accepted a post at the University of Illinois, where she was active in the professional community. From 1923 to 1935, she was a cooperating editor of the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society and also served on their council for two years. In 1928, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship which enabled her to study in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. A prolific writer, Hazlett wrote 17 research papers, the last three of which were published in 1930. She officially retired from the University of Illinois in 1959, after spending 14 years on disability leave.

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