I have only had one encounter where being female has caused a person to doubt my ability to do math. That person was a professor that I talked to while visiting colleges in order to pick where I wanted to go for my undergraduate degree. Needless to say, that professor made my decision to not attend that particular college very easy. However, in a class we discussed the hardships that women have faced in the sciences, and more specifically, math. Obviously, since I am a female and will be degree holding mathematician in less than two weeks, this topic appeals to me. By using four different resources, I have created a timeline of some of the important female mathematicians. For each mathematician I have included the years that were alive, most have their country of origin, and one or two thing that I personally feel are their most significant achievements. These achievements could be an advancement for mathematics in general or a step towards equality for women in the field. Also, the name of each mathematician is a hyperlink to a webpage with more information on her.

**Hypatia of Alexandria (355 or 370 – 415 or 416)**

Greek

Salaried head of Neoplatonic School in Alexandria

**Elena Cornaro Piscopia (1646-1684)**

Italian

Lecturer in mathematics at University of Padua

**Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)**

Italian

Wrote a textbook to explain math to her brothers which described a cubic curve

**Sophia Germain (1776-1830 or 1831)**

French

Partial solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem

**Mary Fairfax Somerville (1780-1872)**

Scottish and British

Produced writings in theoretical and mathematical science

**Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) **

British

Notes on an article on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine became known as a computer and software

**Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)**

Actually a nurse, but developed pie-like chart to show mortality rate due to unsanitary hospital conditions

**Charlotte Angas Scott (1848-1931)**

English/American

First head of mathematics department at Byrn Mawr College

**Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891)**

Russian

Researched Koalevskaya Top and Cauchy-Kovalevskaya Theorem

Married for convenience in order to move from Russia to continue her advanced studying

**Hertha Marks Ayrton (1854-1923)**

English

First female in Institution of Electrical Engineers

**Annie Dale Biddle Andrews (1885-1940)**

First female with Ph.D. in math from University of California Berkeley

**Alicia Stott (1860-1940)**

English

Platonic and Archimedean solids translated into higher dimensions

**Grace Chisholm Young (1868-1944)**

English

First female at Gottingen University in Germany to receive a doctorate

**Tatyana Afanasyeva (1876-1974)**

Russian

Published papers on randomness, geometry, and entropy

**Amalie Emmy Noether (1882-1935) **

German, Jewish, American

Developed some of the foundation for Einstein’s general theory of relativity

Contributed to algebra significantly

**Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler (1883-1966)**

American

Contributed to linear algebra

**Dame Mary Lucy Cartwright (1900-1935)**

English

First female elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of England

Published more than 100 papers on function theory

**Marjorie Lee Browne (1914-1979)**

American

Head of mathematics department at North Carolina Central University

Contributed to linear and matrix algebra

**Julia Hall Bowman Robinson (1919-1985)**

American

First female mathematician to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences

**Shafi Goldwasser (1958-)**

American

Two time winner of the Godel Prize for her theoretical computer science work

Learning about what all of these women have done to influence mathematics is pretty amazing considering the opposition they had, especially the earlier ones. It is interesting to think about where we could be now, and where math could be, if they hadn’t had to overcome all that they did.

Links to the sources that I used:

http://womenshistory.about.com/od/sciencemath1/tp/aatpmathwomen.htm

http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/features/9371.html

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/female-mathematicians-and-their-contributions.html

Good list of great mathematicians. Maybe you could flesh out the list with what drew you to these in particular (your process or values), or what you found interesting about them. Or, given the list, go into more depth on one you find especially relevant. Alternatively, you could make it a resource post, and add specific links for each person on the list.