Helen Dodson Prince

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Helen Dodson Prince
Born December 31, 1905
Baltimore, Maryland
Died February 4, 2002(2002-02-04) (aged 96)
Arlington, Virginia
Fields Astronomy
Institutions University of Michigan
Alma mater University of Michigan
Doctoral advisor Heber Doust Curtis
Known for Solar flares
Notable awards Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy (1955)

Helen Dodson Prince (December 31, 1905 – February 4, 2002) was an astronomer who pioneered work in solar flares at the University of Michigan.

Early Life and Education

Helen Prince (née Dodson) was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 31, 1905 to Helen Walter and Henry Clay Dodson. Being skilled in both physics and mathematics, Prince received a full scholarship to study mathematics at Goucher College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1927. During her undergraduate studies, she was influenced by professor Florence P. Lewis to study astronomy. Prince continued onto graduate school at the University of Michigan, where she received her master's degree in 1932 and her Ph.D. in 1934, both in astronomy. Prince's doctoral thesis was entitled "A Study of the Spectrum of 25 Orionis".[1]

Career and Achievements

Prince served as an assistant professor of astronomy at Wellesley College from 1933-1945. Prince spent the summers of 1934 and 1935, at the Maria Mitchell Observatory, where she continued to study the spectroscopy of 25 Orionis. Her findings would later be published in the Astrophysical Journal. During the summers of 1938 and 1939, Prince's interest in solar activity became prominent while researching it at the Paris Observatory. Between 1943 and 1945, Prince worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Radiation Laboratory, where she made significant contributions to the study of radar. After World War II, she returned to Goucher College, where she was an astronomy professor from 1945 to 1950. Prince began her research at the McMath–Hulbert Observatory in 1947 and eventually left MIT to become its associate director as well as to be an astronomy professor in Michigan.[1][2]

Dodson held the Dean Van Meter fellowship from Goucher in 1932 and received the Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy in 1954. In 1974, Dodson received the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Michigan. Throughout her career, Dodson published over 130 journal articles, mostly on solar flares.[2] [3][4] [5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Shearer, Benjamin F. (1997). Notable women in the physical sciences : a biographical dictionary (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-29303-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lindner, Rudi Paul. "Helen Dodson Prince (1905 - 2002)". Retrieved 23 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Prince, Helen Walter (Dodson)". The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: L-Z. New York: Routledge. 2000. p. 1055. ISBN 978-0-415-92040-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Wayne, Tiffany K. (2011). "Prince, Helen Walter Dodson". American Women of Science Since 1900. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 771–773. ISBN 978-1-59884-158-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).