Edith Clarke

Edith Clarke (1883-1959 ), born in rural Maryland, was orphaned at an early age. She used her inheritance to enroll at Vassar at a time when few women earned a college degree. At Vassar she studied mathematics and astronomy and eventually worked as a “computing assistant” to George Campbell at AT&T. At AT&T she learned about the theory of transmission lines and electric circuits. She went on to graduate with a Masters from MIT in electrical engineering–the first woman to earn this degree. She was known for her expertise in power systems and in the design of the dams in the American West. Edith Clarke taught at the University of Texas in Austin.