#
Julia Robinson

Julia Bowman Robinson was born on December 8, 1919, in St. Louis.
She received her A. B. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley,
and married the mathematician Raphael Robinson. In 1948, she received her
Ph. D. in mathematics under Tarski.

Julia Robinson's most famous work involves Hilbert's
tenth problem, which asked for a procedure for deciding if a Diophantine
equation had a solution in integers. Together with Martin Davis and Hilary
Putnam, she nearly completed the (negative) solution of this problem, but
one crucial piece was missing. That piece was supplied by the Russian
mathematician Yuri Matijasevic in 1970 at the age of 22.

In 1975, she became the first woman mathematician to be elected to the US
National Academy of Sciences. At the time of her election, she did not hold
a faculty position anywhere, but after the award, UC Berkeley offered her
a full professorship.

Julia Robinson died of leukemia on July 30, 1985.

## Sources

- C. Reid, The autobiography of Julia Robinson,
*College Math. J.* **17** (1986), 2-21.

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September 10 1997