Cecilia Krieger Pure and Applied Mathematics

First woman to earn Doctorate in Mathematics from Canadian university.

The Story

Krieger came to Canada with her mother and sisters to escape the persecution of Jews in Poland. She entered the University of Toronto in 1920, knowing very little English. She was the first woman, and the third person, to earn a mathematics doctorate at a Canadian university.

Following a year at Göttingen University in Germany, Krieger taught at the University of Toronto for 31 years. She was very active in the Departments both of Mathematics and Engineering, and with the Canadian Association of University Women. Her main contribution to mathematics is the translation into English of two textbooks by Polish mathematician Waclaw Sierpinski, his "Introduction to General Topology" (1934) and "General Topology" (1952).

The Canadian Mathematical Society now awards the CMS Krieger-Nelson Prize Lectureship for Distinguished Research by Women in Mathematics in honour of Cecilia Krieger and Evelyn Nelson.

Sources: Biographies of Women Mathematicians website.

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The Person

April 9, 1894
Jaslo, Poland
Date of Death
August 17, 1974
  • BA (Mathematics), University of Toronto, 1924
  • MA (Mathematics), U of T, 1925
  • PhD (Mathematics), U of T, 1930
Last Updated
September 16, 2015

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