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Monday, April 15, 2019

Meet mathematician Emmy Noether, mother of the most beautiful theorem in the world | Massive Science

Brittney Borowiec, Environmental Physiology explains, She worked out a kink in general relativity and kickstarted the field of abstract algebra.

Photo: Matteo Farinella
Brilliant, creative, and assertive, Emmy Noether helped to fine-tune the theory of general relativity and kick-started a new field of mathematics with her conceptual, abstract approach and “big picture” ideas. 

Noether’s revolutionary way of thinking changed our approach to mathematics and physics in the early 20th century, despite struggling throughout her life for the opportunities afforded to her male colleagues. She is perhaps the most important mathematician that you’ve never heard of.

Emmy Noether was born in Erlangen, Germany in 1882 into an academically brilliant family. Her father Max was a successful mathematician, and two of her younger brothers eventually earned doctorates in chemistry and mathematics. As a child, Noether focused her studies on languages, music, and domestic duties – subjects deemed appropriate for women at the time. But after passing an examination in 1900 to teach French and English, she took the highly unusual action of studying mathematics at the University of Erlangen.

The university had only recently relaxed its ban on female students, but still only allowed women to audit classes, and only after being granted permission from their professors...

In 1915, Hilbert, Klein, and the rest of the University of Göttingen’s mathematics department were enamored with Einstein’s radical new theory of general relativity. Hilbert and Klein hoped that Noether’s expertise in invariants would help them work out unresolved issues with the new theory, and invited her to apply for a faculty position. Despite her clear talent for mathematics, other faculty members refused to accept the prospect of a women colleague.
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Photo: Matteo Farinella
Meet Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer by Lauren Mackenzie Reynolds, PhD candidate at McGill University in Montréal. 
"A “prophet of the computer age,” she saw the potential for computers outside of pure mathematics." 

Source: Massive Science