Academic Hood of Frances Ellen Baker

This hood belonged to Frances Ellen Baker (1902–1995), who received her PhD in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1934. The color of the velvet on the hood represents the type of doctorate awarded, with dark blue used for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The color of the reverse (interior) side of the hood, maroon, represents the school that awarded the degree, i.e., the University of Chicago whose colors are maroon and white. A matching hood (1985.0820.02) was awarded to Baker’s father, Richard Philip Baker (1866-1937), when he received his PhD in mathematics from Chicago in 1910.
Frances Baker’s PhD dissertation, A Contribution to the Waring Problem for Cubic Functions, was directed by L. E. Dickson, the first doctoral student of E. H. Moore, who directed her father’s PhD dissertation, The Problem of the Angle-Bisectors (1985.3145.01). Her younger sister, Gladys Elizabeth Baker (1908–2007) earned a doctorate in botany and mycology from Washington University in St. Louis in 1935.
Frances Baker spent most of her career, 1942–68, teaching mathematics at Vassar College. She came to Vassar two years after her sister Gladys arrived there to teach botany. There Frances Baker directed several honors papers and served as an officer of the local chapters of the academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, and the science honor society, Sigma Xi.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
date used
Baker, Frances E.
Physical Description
satin (overall material)
velvet (overall material)
overall: 117 cm x 63 cm x 2 cm; 46 1/16 in x 24 13/16 in x 25/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Women Mathematicians
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Women Mathematicians
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Gladys E. Baker and Frances E. Baker
Additional Media

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