Hilda Geiringer: A Pioneer of Applied Mathematics and a Woman Ahead of Her Time Was Saved from Fascism by Turkey

Arnold Reisman

Abstract


This paper discusses a dimly lit and largely unknown bit of the history of applied mathematics and of engineering science. Hilda Geiringer a pioneer in both survived extermination because starting in 1933, Turkey reformed its higher education using invitees fleeing the Nazis and for whom America was out of reach because of restrictive immigration laws and wide spread anti-Semitic hiring and gender bias at its universities. This visionary act on the part of Turkey’s government had the collateral benefit of placing in escrow a member of a team that set new paradigms in several disciplines and helped to revolutionize America’s mathematics, engineering education, and engineering practice.

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