She was the first woman to graduate from a scientific institute in the United States. She was the first female student and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She met her husband, Robert Richards at MIT. Ellen Richards was also the first woman to be elected to the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers.
In addition, she was a leading figure in the study of nutrition and
hygiene. Ecology was a word coined by her. Ellen was an instructor
in the laboratory of sanitary chemistry at the Lawrence Experiment
Station. She also became the first president of the American Home
Economics Association in 1908. In 2011, she was listed as #8 on the
MIT150 list of the top 150 innovators and ideas from MIT. Ellen was
born in 1842 and died in 1911.