Honorary Degrees

N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may be available at the University Archives.


Honorary Degree recipient, B. Swirles (Lady Jeffreys), 1995 (Convocation Programs)
Name: Bertha Swirles (Lady Jeffreys), M.A., Ph.D.
Convocation date: October 28, 1995
Discipline / contribution: mathematics
Citation / biographical information:
Lady Jeffreys is one of a group of distinguished applied mathematicians who flourished in Manchester, Cambridge and Copenhagen around Rutherford, Fowler and Bohr. Her career, as an educator of women, has done much to improve the status of women in science. Lady Jeff reys was a graduate student of R.H. Fowler, one of a distinguished company of his students that included several Nobel prize winners, such as Dirac, and Chandrasekhar, amongst others.
Her most widely known publication is the enormously influential text by H. Jeff reys and B. Jeff reys, Methods in Mathematical Physics, Cambridge University Press. This was first published in 1946, and remains in print after many editions and revisions. It is one of the standard texts in the advanced mathematical education of scientists, and has shaped the education of generations of students. Lady Jeffreys is also very well known for her seismological work, both in association with her husband, the late Sir Harold Jeffreys, and independently.
For many years, Lady Jeff reys was Director of Studies in Mathematics at Girton College, Cambridge. For some time she was also Vice-Mistress of Girton. Girton College, which until recently admitted only women, has played a major role in women’s education. As Director of Studies, Lady Jeffreys was one of those most responsible for the training of many of the leading women in the international scientific community today. Her influence is present worldwide, not least in the United States and Canada.
Degree received: Doctor of Science
Degree presented by: James A. Brooke, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

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