Sep 12, 2012

Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards

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.