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Olga Taussky-Todd

A self-proclaimed torchbearer for matrix theory, Olga Taussky-Todd made the previously little-known field essential for scientists and mathematicians. Taussky-Todd, daughter of a chemist, began studying chemistry herself at the University of Vienna in 1925, but switched to mathematics after a year. She earned a PhD with a thesis on algebraic number theory in 1930 and took various academic positions around Europe before spending the war years working on aircraft design at the National Physical Laboratory in London, where she turned her interests from number theory to matrix theory. She immigrated to America in 1947, working in Washington, DC until her husband was appointed professor at CalTech in 1957. Taussky-Todd also received an appointment as a research associate, and earned tenure in 1963, but despite her international reputation was only named a professor in 1971. In her lifetime, she published roughly 200 papers. She was acclaimed as the LA Times Woman of the Year in 1963, served on the councils of both the London and American Mathematical Societies, and in 1980 was honored with the Austrian Cross of Science and Art. 

Topics: Mathematics

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Mathematician Olga Taussky-Todd in Göttingen, Germany, 1932.

Courtesy of Konrad Jacobs via Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth


Date of Death
Mathematician, Professor

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Olga Taussky-Todd." (Viewed on December 2, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/taussky-todd-olga>.


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