# Annie MacKinnon Fitch

June 1, 1868 - September 12, 1940

Annie Louise MacKinnon was born in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, in 1868, but
spent most of her youth in Concordia, Kansas.
She earned her B.S. (1889) and M.S. (1891) degrees in mathematics from the
University of Kansas. While working on her master's degree, she taught
high school mathematics in Lawrence, Kansas.
She received her
Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1894, with a dissertation on "Concomitant Binary Forms in
Terms of the Roots" [Abstract]. That same year she was awarded the Association of
Collegiate Alumnae European Fellowship to study mathematics at
Gottingen University. After being at Gottingen for two years, she
returned in 1896 to become Professor of Mathematics at Wells College.
She was also the college's registrar. She was elected to the American
Mathematical Society in 1897. She published two papers in the Society's
journals. In 1901 MacKinnon left Wells College to marry Edward Fitch,
a professor of Greek at Hamilton College and later Dean of the college.
Whitman quotes her as writing
to a friend, "It seems to me worthwhile that some women are intelligent
about things mathematical even if their own accomplishments are not
great." She devoted much time and energy to encouraging women to take a
public spirited interest in their local, state and national
communities. In addition to her membership in the American Mathematical Society,
she was also a member of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science and the League of
Women Voters.

### References

- Walter Eells. "American doctoral dissertations on mathematics
and astronomy written by women in the nineteenth century," Mathematics
Teacher, May 1957, p.374
- Whitman, Betsey S. "Women in the American Mathematical Society
before 1900," Association for Women in Mathematics Newsletter, 13(4)
(July/August 1983), 10-14.
- Helen Brewster Owens Papers. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe
College.
- Obituary, Hamilton Alumni Review, October 1940.
- Obituary, New York Times, September 13, 1940.
- Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Author Profile at zbMath