Awesome Stuff Women Did

Because women have done more in the past 10,000 years than just pop out babies and make sandwiches.

DISCLAIMER: We make no claim that all women featured here are saints. They did awesome stuff; the women themselves might not have been. Keep that in mind before sending angry notes.

sciencechicks:

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799) was an Italian mathematician who wrote the first book discussing both differential and integral calculus. She was also an honorary member of the faculty at the University of Bologna.
Maria was born in Milan to a wealthy family. She was recognized early as a child prodigy. When she was 9 years old, she composed and delivered an hour-long speech in Latin to some of the most distinguished intellectuals of the day. By her thirteenth birthday she had acquired Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Latin, and was referred to as the “Walking Polyglot”. Maria was shy by nature and did not like all these public meetings. Around 15, she devoted her study to differential and integral calculus and avoided all social interactions. She also taught her siblings. 
She wrote the book Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventù italiana, published in 1748. The first volume discusses the analysis of finite quantities and the second of the analysis of infinitesimals. 
In 1750, she was appointed by Pope Benedict XIV to the chair of mathematics and natural philosophy and physics at Bologna. She was the first women appointed as a mathematics professor at a university. After the death of her father in 1752 she took to the study of theology and devoted herself to the poor, homeless, and sick. After holding for some years the office of director of the Hospice Trivulzio for Blue Nuns at Milan, she herself joined the sisterhood.

sciencechicks:

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799) was an Italian mathematician who wrote the first book discussing both differential and integral calculus. She was also an honorary member of the faculty at the University of Bologna.

Maria was born in Milan to a wealthy family. She was recognized early as a child prodigy. When she was 9 years old, she composed and delivered an hour-long speech in Latin to some of the most distinguished intellectuals of the day. By her thirteenth birthday she had acquired Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Latin, and was referred to as the “Walking Polyglot”. Maria was shy by nature and did not like all these public meetings. Around 15, she devoted her study to differential and integral calculus and avoided all social interactions. She also taught her siblings. 

She wrote the book Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventù italiana, published in 1748. The first volume discusses the analysis of finite quantities and the second of the analysis of infinitesimals. 

In 1750, she was appointed by Pope Benedict XIV to the chair of mathematics and natural philosophy and physics at Bologna. She was the first women appointed as a mathematics professor at a university. After the death of her father in 1752 she took to the study of theology and devoted herself to the poor, homeless, and sick. After holding for some years the office of director of the Hospice Trivulzio for Blue Nuns at Milan, she herself joined the sisterhood.

rosietint:

In History: Sophie Germain
Germain, born April 1, 1776, was a mathematician who often worked under a pseudonym because she was concerned her work wouldn’t be taken seriously if people knew she was a woman. One of the pioneers of elasticity theory, she won the grand prize from  the Paris Academy of Sciences for her essay on the subject. Her work on  Fermat’s Last Theorem provided a foundation for mathematicians exploring  the subject for hundreds of years after.

rosietint:

In History: Sophie Germain

Germain, born April 1, 1776, was a mathematician who often worked under a pseudonym because she was concerned her work wouldn’t be taken seriously if people knew she was a woman. One of the pioneers of elasticity theory, she won the grand prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences for her essay on the subject. Her work on Fermat’s Last Theorem provided a foundation for mathematicians exploring the subject for hundreds of years after.

Was the head of the Platonist school at Alexandria as a teacher of philosophy and mathematics.  Considered by some contemporaries as the greatest philosopher of her time.  Wrote a commentary on the 13-volume Arithmetica by Diophantus, a commentary on the Conics of Apollonius, and a text called “The Astronomical Canon.”  Edited the existing version of Ptolemy’s Almagest and her father’s commentary on Euclid’s Elements.  Contributions to science are reputed to include the charting of celestial bodies and the invention of the hydrometer, used to determine the relative density and gravity of liquids. (Hypatia of Alexandria)

Was the head of the Platonist school at Alexandria as a teacher of philosophy and mathematics.  Considered by some contemporaries as the greatest philosopher of her time. Wrote a commentary on the 13-volume Arithmetica by Diophantus, a commentary on the Conics of Apollonius, and a text called “The Astronomical Canon.” Edited the existing version of Ptolemy’s Almagest and her father’s commentary on Euclid’s Elements. Contributions to science are reputed to include the charting of celestial bodies and the invention of the hydrometer, used to determine the relative density and gravity of liquids. (Hypatia of Alexandria)

Translated and wrote commentary on Sir Isaac Newton’s work, Principia Mathematica. Her translation, published posthumously in 1759, is still considered the French standard by which all others are measured.  She also published several papers throughout her lifetime, including one describing her research on fire, in which she correctly predicted what would later be described as infrared radiation.  And some modern biographers report having seen in her notebooks a derivative of the equation made famous by Einstein: E = MC2.  A crater on Venus was named in her honor.  Her longtime lover, the philosopher and poet Voltaire, wrote to the King of Prussia that she “was a great man whose only fault was being a woman.” (Èmilie du Châtelet)

Translated and wrote commentary on Sir Isaac Newton’s work, Principia Mathematica. Her translation, published posthumously in 1759, is still considered the French standard by which all others are measured.  She also published several papers throughout her lifetime, including one describing her research on fire, in which she correctly predicted what would later be described as infrared radiation.  And some modern biographers report having seen in her notebooks a derivative of the equation made famous by Einstein: E = MC2. A crater on Venus was named in her honor.  Her longtime lover, the philosopher and poet Voltaire, wrote to the King of Prussia that she “was a great man whose only fault was being a woman.” (Èmilie du Châtelet)