Female Mathematicians Essay

1686 Words 7 Pages
Throughout history, women have been looked down upon and seen as insubordinate and incapable. Women were never viewed as equal to men until about the 1950s. History will also tell us that men dominated the mathematical scene and have made the biggest contributions in that field, yet this does not seem to be the case. Women have had just as big an impact on math as men have, if not a bigger contribution.They still continue to rock the mathematical world today. Various women such as Hypatia from the ancient Greeks, Grace Chisholm Young from England at the turn of the century, to Mary Fairfax Somerville from the Imperialist English, and Maria Gaetana Agnesi from Modern Enlightenment in Italy have all contributed in major ways to the …show more content…
Hypatia’s most well-known improvements to science and astronomy include her re-inventing of the hydrometer and charting of the stars. In mathematics, she is most notable for her contributions to working on different conic sections.Simply by dividing cones in different ways on a plane, she was able to develop the idea of different graphs and shapes such as parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas. Her understanding of the conic sections lead her to be one of the key contributors to the invention of the astrolabe as well (Morrow 1998). Christianity became extremely popular in Alexandria during the time when Hypatia lived there along with many riots breaking out. She was a pagan and known for defending science against any form of religion. She was mercilessly killed by an angry mob who accused her of religious turmoil. Although she died a horrible death of being stripped of her skin and limbs, her legacy lived and still lives. Mathematics was thriving in Athens, so that is where her students eagerly fled to. Although, many of her works that were stored in the library of Alexandria were destroyed by an Arab invasion. Hypatia is an important symbol for many generations and will always be considered to be the first woman in mathematics. The next woman to be discussed is Grace Chisholm Young. She was a mathematician from England and received her education at Girton College in Cambridge, England. She then continued her