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Born in Portsea, England, I studied mathematics at Girton College (part of Cambridge), where I passed the Mathematical Tripos.

Unfortunately, Cambridge would not give degrees to women (only certificates), so I passed an external examination to receive a degree from the University of London in 1881.

Four years later, I married one of my teachers, and spent considerable time assisting him with experiments in physics and electricity.

I invented a draftsman's device that was used to divide a line into equal parts, or it could even help enlarge and reduce drawings.

In mathematics, I enjoyed posing and solving problems, often getting them published in the Educational Times's "Mathematical Questions and Their Solutions."

As a researcher, I was an applied mathematician, focusing on such diverse things as electric arcs, the formation of sand ripples, and mechanical defenses against poison gas.

One of my biggest "firsts" was to be the first woman to read a paper before the elite Royal Society.

Answer: Hertha Marks Ayrton (1854 - 1923)