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Irmgard Flügge-Lotz, née Irmgard Lotz (16 July 1903 - 22 May 1974) was a German mathematician and engineer, best known for her work on the mathematics of aerodynamics, the first female engineering professor at the Stanford University.

Lotz was born in Hamelin on 16 July 1903.[1] After her father, Osark, a travelling journalist,[2] was drafted for military service in World War I, the young Irmgard helped the family by becoming a math tutor. By high school and through college, she practically supported her family single-handedly. In college she was often the only woman in her class. In 1929 she earned a doctorate in engineering, but she had a tough time getting engineering jobs. Lotz went to work for the Aerodynamics Institute in Göttingen. After she solved a peculiarly thorny equation pertaining to wing lift distribution, Lotz was promoted to team leader. In 1938, she married Wilhelm Flügge, a civil engineer, and the pair moved first to Berlin and later to the small town of Saulgau.

After World War II, there was no need for the Flügges to undergo a denazification investigation, and they moved to France, and later to the United States, where they taught at Stanford. Flügge-Lotz started new engineering courses dealing with the mathematics of aerodynamics. In spite of suffering debilitating arthritis, Flügge-Lotz continued her engineering research even through retirement.

Flügge-Lotz died in Stanford Hospital on 22 May 1974 after a long illness.[1]


* J. R. Spreiter & W. Flügge, Irmgard Flügge-Lotz in Louise S. Grinstein (Editor), Paul J. Campbell (Editor) (1987). Women of Mathematics: A Bio-Bibliographic Sourcebook. Greenwood Press, New York. ISBN 978-0313248498. p. 33-40


1. ^ a b Spreiter, John R.; Van Dyke, Milton D. and Vincenti, Walter G.. "Irmgard Flügge-Lotz" (pdf). Memorial Resolution. Stanford University. http://histsoc.stanford.edu/pdfmem/Flugge-LotzI.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
2. ^ Cooper, Julie; Banderas, Maria (May 1977). "Irmgard Flugge-Lotz". Biographies of Women Mathematicians. Agnes Scott College. http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/WOMEN/lotz.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-24.

External links

* "Imrgard Flugge-Lotz", Biographies of Women Mathematicians, Agnes Scott College
* Biography of Flugge-Lotz from IEEE


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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