The first such fellowship was awarded to Edwin Foster Coddington (June 24, 1870 - December 21, 1950), member of the class of 1896. Coddington was quite surprised to receive the award as the selection was announced without prior consultation with the nominees. Coddington was working toward a career in surveying but, instead, remained at the university where he received at his master's degree in Astronomy in 1897 where much of his work related to determining the orbital elements of asteroids and comets. (Ohio State granted its first masters degree in Astronomy to Edwin F. Coddington in 1897. The subject of his Master's thesis was Definitive Determination of the Orbit of Comet (b) 1896.)
On June 11, 1898, Mr. Coddington, while working temporarily at Lick Observatory, discovered a comet on a negative plate taken of the Antares region the preceding night. A visual telescopic observation on the evening of the 11th confirmed his suspicion. The comet was independently discovered on June 14 by Pauly observing from Bucharest, Rumania. Never a naked-eye comet, Comet Coddington-Pauly was labeled 1898 VII.
Despite his intended career in geodetic science, Coddington would make significant contributions to the study of both comets and asteroids. Shortly after earning his Masters' degree, he would discover asteroids (439) Ohio on October 13, 1898, (440) Theodora on October 13, 1898, and (445) Edna on October 2, 1899. He also worked out the orbital elements for 1898 EC, 1899 EX, Comet 1989 VIII (Chase), and the following asteroids: (25) Phocaea, (101) Helena, (105) Artemis, (139) Juewa, (169) Zelia, and (334) Desiderata. He would also go on to discover a dwarf irregular galaxy in Ursa Major that today carries the name "Coddington's Nebula" (IC 2574). He also would go on to make significant contributions to the study of double stars. He did all this work while in residence at Mount Hamilton (Lick Observatory the first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory) in California over the course of three years. He would also eventually accompany Professor Lord on several astronomical expeditions in the years immediately following.
Following his work at Mount Hamilton, "Coddie" returned to Columbus becoming a professor of geodetic engineering where one of his interests was the use of sun and stars for the purposes of surveying. He had the following books published:
(last updated June 26, 2012, cjw)
Return to the McMillin Story