When it is all about numbers…

Mary Layne Boas

Sometimes your calling in life takes you into the realm of math and physics. In 1938, Mary Layne Boas earned her bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree two years later in the field of mathematics from the University of Washington. In 1948, Boas earned a Ph.D. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boas taught physics and mathematics at Duke and DePaul universites. In 1966, she authored Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, an undergraduate textbook still used today. Boas married Ralph Boas Jr. and they had one child Harold P. Boas, both of whom were mathematicians. At the age of 88, she published the third edition of her textbook, and at 91, established a scholarship fund at the University of Washington to recognize outstanding academic achievements by female students.

Contributed by: Amee Bahr