René Descartes

Leonhard Euler

Pierre de Fermat

Carl Friedrich Gauss

Sophia Kowalewskaja

Leonardo da Vinci

Isaac Newton

Emmy Noether

Pythagoras of Samos

Bertrand Russell

François Vieta

Mandelbrot and Sierpinski

Thales von Milet


Books and Links



Dido's Problem



Smart Joe

Fuzzy Logic



Emmy Noether

Emmy Noether was one of the most influencial algebraicians of the 20th century. She was born in Germany as the daughter of a wealthy Jewish family. Even though her father was a math professor, she attended a girls college that taught mainly languages and home economics. Afterwards she earned a degree in teaching English and French.

Only now she decided to study at a university. At that time it still was a big deal for a woman to attend a university; in her class, out of 1000 students, only two were female and she was the only one to study sciences.

Since she was a woman, she couldn't hand in her thesis. A professor let her lecture as his "assistant" and she soon collected a group of students around her. They talked about mathematical problems and she helped them with their dissertations, even before she could get her own Ph.D.

In 1919, after the German empire broke up, Noether's thesis was accepted and she got her first job as a professor, though unpaid for the first year. Later she got paid a minimal wage. She soon was famous in the world of mathematicians, and students from all over the world came to study with her because she was known to be of great help. She once wrote about herself:

"My methods are working and learning methods, and have therefore anonymously made their way into every mathematical field."

In 1933 her teaching permit was taken away because she was Jewish. A friend helped her to get a job at a girls school near Princeton, NJ, and she emigrated to the U.S. Soon she was surrounded once more with students who came from Princeton to engage with her in long mathematical discussions. When she unexpectedly died two years later, the whole mathematical world mourned its loss.

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