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Women in the Math World

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Women in the Math World

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Math is commonly known as the man’s major. Many college math

professors are men and the same goes for their students. "One study

revealed that women accounted for 15% of students in computer science,

16% in electrical engineering,. . . Gender splits in the faculty were

similar" (Cukier). There are few women that have made an impact on

the math society compared with the number of men. A person can ramble off

names such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Pythagoras of Samos, and

Jean-François Niceron. Where are the women mathematicians? This

paper will examine the lives of women that have made an impact on the

world of mathematics. There might be more men in the field of

mathematics however the women that have made contributions need to be

seen as equals. Three women that have made an impact include Mary

Fairfax Somerville, Maria Gaetana Agnesi and Charlotte Angas Scott.

Mary Fairfax Somerville was born on December 26, 1780 into a wealthy

family of a vice admiral in the British Navy. While growing up she

recieved little formal education. The one year that she spent in a

boarding school for girls in Musselburgh, she endured a life full of

rules and because unhappy. Mary became interested in mathematics

while reading a women's fashion magnize. She noticed symbols in the

magazine that she had not noticed before and asked her brother's tutor

about the symbols. She convinced him to purchase some math for her

for futher examination. Her studies in math did not go farther then

this until after she married and her husband died, leaving her in good

economic ...

... middle of paper ...

... first Council when the AMS began in

1894. She and her first Ph.D. student were two of nine women among a

250 AMS membership. She again served on the AMS Council from 1899 -

1901 and in 1905 she became the vice-president" (Cite). She is

credited with being the author of the first mathematical research

paper written in the US to be widely recognized in Europe. After

retirement she returned back to London and where she helped other

women pursure careers in mathematics.

In Conclusion, women have made major contributions to the field of

mathematics. Their formuals might not be the most famous and widely

used however these three women paved a way for many women today in the

field of mathematics. Despite the low numbers of women in the math

world, the women that do succeed make an impact that will not be

forgotten.
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