Talk:Ruth Lawrence

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I feel very strongly that personal gossip about living, active people should be kept to a minimum in Wikipedia biographies. In this case, I know Ruth Lawrence slightly and I think that her privacy should be respected.

--Greg Kuperberg 15:34, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Middle name[edit]

Her PhD thesis says her middle name is Jayne, not Elke, so I've altered it.Blaise 16:10, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Interesting. Up to about 1996 her publications are credited to "R.J. Lawrence", but her Home Page says Elke, and this article from 2000 calls her "Ruth E. Lawrence". Perhaps she changed her middle name when she married ?? Gandalf61 13:04, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Under English law, she can use any name she likes. "Jayne" is not in Hebrew. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:26, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Candidates for the Oxford entrance interview exam[edit]

Something's wrong here. 530 sounds about right for the number of candidates applying for maths at Oxford in any one year - if anything, it sounds a little low - but the article implies that that was the number applying for St Hugh's, which is just one out of 30 colleges that admit undergraduates. The exam is common across all colleges, and I can quite believe that she came top out of 530, so the St Hugh's bit needs to be moved elsewhere. Philip Trueman 14:19, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Quite correct, the Oxford colleges were operating a unified entrance exam in mathematics that year (I was one of the examiners as it happens) and she came top across the whole university intake. I have modified the sentence accordingly. Richard Pinch (talk) 19:01, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 21:12, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Slight exception[edit]

The article should mention the fact that Ruth would not have been let into the University unless it turned a blind eye to its usual requirement that students have a modern language, such as French. If she had studied this, she would have been slightly older. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:07, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Is there a reliable source for this claim? If not, then we can't use it. Deltahedron (talk) 18:35, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Oxford and Cambridge asked for a qualification in Greek until about 1912.
Latin was
asked for until about 1968. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:41, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
See This implies that there were Oxford Entrance exams in French and Latin in 1968. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:51, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Green does not say clearly that they were required, but I think they were at that time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
In point of fact, it would have taken some time to study all three. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:14, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
This looks like original research at best. We need a reliable independent source that asserts specifically that normal entrance requirements were waived for this person. A guess as to what the normal requirements were and whether or not she met them is very far from enough. Deltahedron (talk) 18:02, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
The Daily Telegraph in about 1983 said that Ruth had no French and implied that this was normally a requirement. I cannot remember the exact day. Send an email to Ruth, if you think I am lying. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
It's not a question of suggesting that you are "lying". In fact, we have requirements on verification by independent reliable sources precisely so that we don't have to rely on, or assess, the accuracy of individual editors. If you think this issue is important enough, the onus is on you to provide the sources. I have to say that airily telling other people to do the research to find sources that you can't provide is not going to go endear you to your fellow editors, especially when the issue is so trivial. Deltahedron (talk) 18:07, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I was trying to be sarcastic but obviously sarcasm goes over your head. I have
received an email from Ruth Lawrence. She notes that she was not exempted from the language requirement and passed a test in German. Those on Open Scholarships were exempted from the English test. I should imagine that she could have passed this in any case. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:18, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I take it that the issue is closed, then. Deltahedron (talk) 17:41, 19 November 2012 (UTC)


There are no references cited for any of the information in the section Personal and there is no citation to support the assertion that the publications referred to are her Three most cited mathematical publications. In accordance with WP:BLP I have removed the Personal section, especially since it refers to other living people as well. Deltahedron (talk) 16:53, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Later mathematical prodigies[edit]

I have removed various statements and links to other subsequent child prodigies as irrelevant to this article. In particular, the statement that Ruth Lawrence's age record stood until another specific person might have been relevant but the assertion was not supported by the reference cited. Deltahedron (talk) 17:02, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Starred first[edit]

The text states that she obtained a 'starred first'. I was at Oxford at the time and have never heard the term before. She did get the highest score in mathematics finals, but that is always known as the 'top first'. She sat physics finals the following year; she got a first in that, but did not come top (Nigel Dowrick was top). (talk) 22:55, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia goes by what reliable sources publish. The BBC source in the article says it was "a starred first in Mathematics", and a quick google shows plenty of other reliable sources to back it up. We can't use your personal knowledge, see WP:V and WP:RS. TwoTwoHello (talk) 23:37, 30 April 2019 (UTC)