Notable Women in Mathematics: A Biographical Dictionary

Notable Women in Mathematics: A Biographical Dictionary

Notable Women in Mathematics: A Biographical Dictionary

Notable Women in Mathematics: A Biographical Dictionary

Synopsis

This volume features substantive biographical essays on 59 women from around the world who have made significant contributions to mathematics from antiquity to the present. Designed for secondary school students and the general public, each profile describes major life events, obstacles faced and overcome, educational and career milestones--including a discussion of mathematical research in non-technical terms--and interests outside of mathematics. Although the collection includes historical women, the emphasis is on contemporary mathematicians, many of whom have not been profiled in any previous work. Also included are the contributions of minority women, including 10 African-American, Latina, and Asian mathematicians.

Excerpt

All fifty-nine women included in this volume have devoted their lives to mathematics. They are recognized leaders in mathematics, including winners of coveted MacArthur "Genius" Fellowships, members of the National Academy of Sciences, winners of prizes given by the mathematical associations, presidents of major professional organizations, and invited speakers at prestigious conferences. A number of younger women are included who show great promise, having won awards early in their careers, but who have not yet (because of their relative youth) amassed as impressive a list of professional credentials. Although more than three-fourths of the mathematicians have worked or are working in the United States, almost half were born in other countries. This work celebrates the lives of minority women in particular, including African American, Latina, and Asian mathematicians.

At the end of the nineteenth century it would have been possible to include a biography of every doctoral-level female mathematician in a fairly slim volume. Because that list is now significantly longer, choices were made in order to obtain a final list of entries to fit the scope of this volume. We began with a comprehensive list, including women whose biographies had appeared in print previously, women who have won major prizes and awards in mathematics, women who have given invited addresses at important conferences, and women who have held leadership positions in key mathematical organizations. In addition to the standard references on women in mathematics and the sciences, a particularly useful reference was the newsletter of the Association of Women in Mathematics . . .

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