Human Gender and Mathematics Essay

1381 Words 6 Pages
Human Gender and Mathematics

Is there a difference in the mathematical ability between men and women? Historians have no precise method of quantifying or comparing their individual accomplishments (Olsen). Not only in mathematics, but also in many other career areas in the past, women were looked upon as inferior to their male counterparts. Women were not encouraged to pursue a career in mathematics. Historically, women were seen working around the home, cleaning the house, taking care of the children, and cooking the food. Even if they did pursue a career in mathematics, their research was sometimes viewed as questionable. I will defend the fact that, "Women have the same capabilities of achieving in mathematics than men do."
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Hypatia was born in 370 in Alexandria, Egypt. Hypatia was known as a mathematician, scientist, and philosopher. She was credited with the invention of the astrolabe, a device used in studying astronomy. However, she was better known for her work in mathematics, primarily for her ideas on conic sections. Her concepts developed ideas on hyperbolas, parabolas, and ellipses. Hypatia was the first woman to have such a profound impact on the survival of early thought in mathematics (Scott). Maria Gaetana Agnesi was born in Milan on May 16, 1718. By the age of twenty, she began working on her most important work, Analytical Institutions, dealing with differential and integral calculus. Analytical Institutions also deals with the analysis of finite quantities, problems of maxima, minima, tangents, inflection points, the analysis of infinitely small quantities, and differential quantities. She is also known for the curve called the "Witch of Agnesi," which states that the x-axis is always horizontal and that the y-axis is always vertical (Scott). Maria Gaetana Agnesi

Sophie Germain was born in Paris on April 1,1776. She collected most of her information from the Ecole Polytechnique, where women were not allow to enroll. She was first noticed when she submitted an analysis to J. L. Lagrange under the pseudonym of M. LeBlanc. Lagrange was surprised when he met LeBlanc, finding out that LeBlanc was really Sophie