Eleanor Ewing

Eleanor Ewing Ehrlich (1918-2011) was an American mathematician.

During the Manhattan Project, Ewing worked at Los Alamos and helped run the IBM calculating team.

Early Years

Ewing was born on a farm in Pontiac, Illinois on January 18, 1918. Possessing a knack for mathematics in high school, she received a scholarship to attend the University of Illinois. She graduated with a B.A. in mathematics in 1941. Afterwards, she stayed on at the university and pursued an M.A. in mathematics, while also teaching in the department. Throughout her time at the University of Illinois, she took one physics class.

Los Alamos

In 1943, Ewing began to work at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in Hartford, Connecticut, training women to become engineer aides. However, in 1944, she received a call from Naomi Livesay, a fellow teacher at the University of Illinois, inviting her to come work on an unknown project in an unknown place in New Mexico. Ewing accepted. After a long and complicated journey, Livesay met Ewing at the Lamy train station and brought her to Los Alamos. During her time at Los Alamos, Ewing helped run the IBM calculating team, calculating the predicted shock wave from an implosion-type bomb.

On July 7, 1945, Ewing married Richard Ehrlich, who worked in the Theoretical Physics Division. The wedding took place at Fuller Lodge.

Later Years

In February 1946, the couple moved to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Ehrlich finished his Ph.D. research, and Ewing spent one semester working as an assistant in the Mathematics Department. However, once their first child was born, she was too busy to continue with that position.

From 1947 to 1975, the family was based in Schenectady, and Richard worked for General Electric. Due to changes at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, Richard was relocated to General Electric’s San Jose location. They would remain in California for thirteen years and eventually move to Gainesville, Florida in 1999.

Eleanor Ewing passed away in 2011. 

Eleanor Ewing 's Timeline

  • 1918 Jan 18th Eleanor Ewing is born.
  • 1941 Graduated with a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Illinois.
  • 1943 Received an M.A. in mathematics from the University of Illinois.

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