These are actual student papers that were not designed to be web pages. They may contain historical, grammatical, mathematical, or formatting errors. These papers were graded using the criterion mentioned in the paper directions, and the writing checklist. The test review sheets and the WebCT tests are good indicators of the mathematics that was discussed in class during and/or after each presentation.

Mackenzie Sumer Inman

Dr. Sarah Greenwald

Women in Mathematics Mary Gray

On April 8, 1938 in Kansas Mary Gray, a great promoter for women in mathematics was born. Mary enjoyed mathematics, history, and physics in high school and she took that enjoyment with her to the Hastings College. In 1959 she graduate at the top of her class with AS in mathematics and physics. She then spent two years at JW Goethe Universitat in Frankfurt, Germany on the Fulbright scholarship. After her return to the United States, she began her graduate work at the University of Kansas, where she earned her masters in 1962. In 1964 she received her Ph.D. becoming the second woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics from Kansas, the first was in 1926 (Agnes Scott).

Mary got appointments from the University of California, Berkeley, and a California State University, Hayward. In 1968, she joined the faculty of American University. During this time, she married Alfred Gray who also is a mathematician. Mary is one of the founders of the Association for Women in Mathematics and served as the first president from 1971 to 1973. In 1976, she was elected the seconded female vice president of the American Mathematical Association, seventy years after the first woman vice president (Agnes Scott).

Mary also had other aspirations for herself and in 1979 she receive her J.D degree summa cum laude from Washington University of Law and proceeded to join the Maryland bar. Even through this she remained at American University and served as chair of the department of mathematics and statistics and the director of women’s study program for 1988-1989. She also served two terms as president of the faculty senate (Agnes Scott). In 1933, she earned her Doctor of Law, honoris causa in 1993 from the University of Nebraska. In addition, she earned her Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, in 1996 from Hastings College.

Mary has worked hard promoting minorities and the sciences and working against sexual discrimination. She wrote a chapter on a book called Academic Freedom: An Everyday Concern, called It’s Power, Stupid. In this article, she talks the abuse of power by professors on college campuses across the world (Benjamin 21-31). Mary is concerned with sexual harassment and it’s need to be recognized and dealt with.

"Faculty have an ethical obligation to abstain from abusing students, whatever the basis of the abuse; moreover, they have a responsibility to refrain form introducing irreverent and inappropriate material into the classroom, again whatever its nature, and inappropriate material into the classroom, again whatever its nature (Gray)".

She also states that sexual harassment is considered sexual discrimination and it can target a whole group or a single victim. She argues that such the sexual harassment of students by faculty is about power and not about academic freedom. She then gives list of things that should not be done by professionals such as dating, expecting "favors" for grades and general comments. One example would be; " Clearly, stating that an individual women will never succeed in mathematics solely because she is a woman is impermissible. Again, this is a question of power (Gray)".

In 1994, she received the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is recognized for ‘" the extraordinary number of women and underrepresented minorities she has affected in her career both directly and indirectly through the influence of her former students and the programs she has initiated and developed. Her twenty doctoral students include eleven women and five African American women’’’ (Agnes Scott). She was also recognized for her work on behalf of the international human rights.

Mary has had many experiences in national professional organizations and has earned many grants. She severed as the chair for the Committee on Women for the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1972. She severed on the Committee on Women (joint committee with American Statistical Association, Institute for Mathematical Statistics, Mathematical Association of America, national Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Society of Industrial, and Applied Mathematics), 1972-1983: chair 1980-1983 (Gray (web)). In 1993, she became the chair of the USA board of Directors of Amnesty International. In 1996 she and Nina Roscher, Department of Chemistry, receive a grant from NSF worth $95,000 for a program to encourage women at American University in mathematical and science studies. The two developed a program that allowed 25 first year women to explore connections between public policy, science, and mathematics (Agnes Scott). Other grants include Said Foundation, approximately $500,000, Freedom Support Act, $75,000, and Campus Compact, SEAMS for public service projects $3500 (Gray (web)).

Mary is interested in Algebra. She wrote a book entitled A Radical Approach to Algebra. In the preface, she talks about the search for information on structures that has continued throughout century. It is proven that a radical exists in every ring. Therefore, the radical has proved useful in the study of rings and algebras. Hence, the radical is the focus of her book. A ring is defined to be a non-empty set that has the following properties:

    1. Commutative law of addition
    2. Associative law of addition
    3. Existence of a zero
    4. Existence of additive inverses
    5. Associative law of multiplication
    6. Distributive laws

If a ring is commutative under multiplication, it is a commutative ring. The ideal, I, of a ring is a subring closed under multiplication by an arbitrary element of R, such that if r is a element of R and j is element of I, then rj is an element of I. If a ring is commutative then all one-sided ideals are ideals. An ideal of a commutative ring R is called a radical idea if R (I)= I. The radical of I is . Take the quotient space zz/2zz, where zz is all integers and 2zz is all even integers. In this space is the zeros/identity is all even numbers and they are squished together, so they are the same number. Therefore, there are two elements of the space, 2k+ 0 and 2k+1(odd numbers). In this space, 0 is a radical ideal.

You know this is true because any element of 2k+1, or an odd number, raise to a power never is a zero. For example, an odd number times an odd number will never be even. For an example of where 0 is not a radical ideal, take the space zz/4zz. Now find some non-zero element that composes via power back to zero. The space has the elements 4k+0,4k+1,4k+2,and 4k+3. Therefore, you know that elements from 4k+1 and 4k+3 will be contained in each other but never lead back to zero, because they are odd, so pick an element from 4k+2. Now (4k+2)2=16k2+16k+4=4(4k2+4k+1), which looks like zero, 4(something)+0. Therefore O is not a radical. She also worked with Jacobson radicals, which is the intersection of maximal ideals. R is a radical ring if the intersection of maximal ideals = R. Think of ideals in zz which look like nzz, i.e. 8zz which is contained in 4zz which is contained in 2zz. In this case, 2zz is the maximal. It turns out that all the maximal ideals are prime numbers and their intersection equals the empty set therefore zz is not a radical ring. Mary uses these ideas and many more properties of radicals to explore ring theory and the structure of numbers.

Mary Gray has many accomplishments in her life. She has dedicated her life to help the promotion of women in mathematics and the integrity of the profession. She is still currently a professor at American University and still edit papers and does referees for many National Organizations. She has truly proved herself as one of the great mathematicians.



Ph.D. Students:

Sharon Hauge

June Winter

Reuben Drake

Charles Pierre

Florence Fasanelli

Maureen McShea

Barbara Bath

Saleem Mokatrin

T.Hoy Booker

Kenneth Jones

Nimer Baya’a

Tawfig AbuDiab

Elaine Smith

Ann Taylor

Katia Foret

Linda Hayden

Behzad Jalali

Mansour Akbari-zarin

John Beyers ( degree expected in 1999)

Martha Brown

Katie Ambrusco

Joan Sterling

Kimberly Ault (degree expected in 1999)
























References I found this page as a great starting place for other reference and a overview of her life and accomplishments.

This web page was a memorial to Alfred Gray and gave a short descriptions about the work and contributions of Dr.Gray.

This web page is great for looking up mathematicians and who they have influenced and who helped them.

Gray, Mary. "It’s Power Stupid". Academic freedom: An everyday Concern. Ernst Benjamin. Jossey Bass Publishers, San Francisco. © 1994. This was very useful starting place for her accomplishments, involvements and written work. It gave a good idea of what she felt was important.

Gray, Mary. A Radical Approach to Algebra.