Charlotte Froese Fischer

Research Professor of Computer Science


Charlotte Froese Fischer obtained both a B.A. degree, with honors in Mathematics and Chemistry, and an M.A. degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of British Columbia in 1952 and 1954, respectively. She then went to Cambridge University where she obtained a Ph. D. in applied mathematics and computing in 1957. There she worked with Douglas R. Hartree, programming the first Electronic Digital Stored program Automatic Computer (EDSAC) for atomic structure calculations.

 Dr. Fischer served on the Mathematics faculty of the University of British Columbia from 1957 - 68 where she introduced numerical analysis and computer courses into the curriculum and was instrumental in the formation of the Computer Science Department. She served as Professor of Applied Analysis and Computer Science at the University of Waterloo (1968 - 75), Professor of Computer Science at Pennsylvania State University (1974 - 79). She and her husband, Patrick C. Fischer, came to Vanderbilt University in 1980.

 Dr. Fischer has served as Editor for a number of journals. She served as an Atomic Structure Editor for Computer Physics Communications from 1968 - 1998.

Dr. Fischer spent 1963 - 64 at the Harvard College Observatory, extending her research on atomic structure calculations. While at Harvard, she was the first woman scientist to be awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. Since then she has become internationally known for her software for atomic structure calculations and her research in atomic structure theory. In 1991 she became a Fellow of the American Physical Society, in part for her contribution to the discovery of negative calcium. In 1995 she was elected a member of the Royal Physiographical Society of Lund and in 2004, as a foreign member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.

Reminiscences (a pdf file)

MCHF / MCDHF Collection

Computational Science: atomic structure calculations

VUPAC Physics .

Book: Computational Atomic Structure

Book: Douglas Rayner Hartree: His life in science and computing


Phone Number:
(615) 322-2796
FAX Number:
(615) 343-5459
Electronic Mail:
Charlotte.F.Fischer@vanderbilt.edu