Mathematician Julia Robinson

Julia B. Robinson, a retired University of California, Berkeley, professor who in 1976 became the first woman mathematician ever elected to the National Academy of Sciences, died of leukemia Tuesday in Berkeley at age 86.

Mrs. Robinson's research was aimed at solving logic problems with number theories. One of her best-known projects involved the "10th Hilbert Problem," in which she showed that there is no automatic method to decide which equations have integer (whole number) solutions.

A native of St. Louis, she grew up in San Diego and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1940. She earned a master's degree and doctorate there in 1941 and 1948.

Mrs. Robinson conducted research and occasionally lectured in the UC Berkeley math department. She became a full professor there in 1976 and retired last month.

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