Annie Hutton Numbers

Born: 6 March 1897 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 10 April 1988 in High Wycombe, England

Annie Hutton Numbers's father was Alexander A Numbers (born in Dysart, Fife about 1865) who was a joiner and cabinetmaker. Her mother was Maggie Numbers (born in Dunfermline, Fife about 1870). Annie Numbers had a younger sister Isabella (born about 1899).

Annie Numbers began her education at Mrs Steele's Private School in Upper Gray Street in Edinburgh. She then entered James Gillespie's in 1904, spending three years at this primary school. In 1907 she began her secondary education at Edinburgh Ladies' College (Mary Erskine's), 1907-1914. She then went to Edinburgh University graduating with the degrees of MA (Hons), Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, 1918, and a B.Sc. in Mathematics, and with a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1920.

After a brief spell teaching she was appointed as Assistant Lecturer and Demonstrator at the Department of Chemistry at Edinburgh University. While on the staff of the University, Numbers undertook research towards the degree of Ph.D. which she took in 1926 for the thesis The influence of substituents on the optical rotatory power of compounds. She left her post at the Department after 1930 to become a teacher in Ipswich and then in High Wycombe, retiring in 1965.

Annie Hutton Numbers joined the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in January 1917 when living at 16 West Savile Terrace, Edinburgh. She remained a member for around 16 years. She died on 10 April 1988.

Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

November 2007
MacTutor History of Mathematics