March 10, 1872 - February 23, 1961
Mary Ann Elizabeth Stephansen received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Zurich in 1902. She was the first woman from Norway to receive a doctoral degree in any subject. Her thesis area was in partial differential equations. It was not until 1971 that another Norwegian woman, Idun Reiten, obtained a doctorate in mathematics. Stephansen taught at the Norwegian Agricultural College from 1906 until her retirement in 1937. She began as an assistant in physics and mathematics, then was appointed to a newly created docent position in mathematics in 1921. She published four mathematical research papers on partial differential equations and difference equations.
A extensive biography of Elizabeth Stephansen was written by Professor Kari Hag and Peter Lindqvist. This also includes description of her mathematical work.