To broaden the education of math or young students, incorporate intersectionality and stronger inclusivity to ensure that no one profile of a person is recognized and accredited with the development of math


Much of the historical accounts involving math have pinpointed male figures’ prominent efforts. 


As much as we greatly appreciate their pioneering, there are multiple female figures who have expedited the evolution of mathematics just as effectively. 


It’s just not as heard about or publicized because up until quite recently in history, women weren’t even allowed to attend university or lectures that would provide them with resourceful material.


However, that hasn’t stopped a great amount of them from getting what they’re passionate about.


Women have long endured discrimination in varying forms, striving to establish equality and receive the same level of opportunity as others in their desired fields. 


It’s important to commend their work as well, regardless of their background, in the name of historical accuracy and also in the efforts to provide intersectional equity and appreciation.


Below are five of the many women in the field of mathematics that have utilized their intellect, wits, drive, and magnetic feminine energy that’s earned them well-deserved success.


  • Hypatia (appx. 350 or 370 to 415): Believed to be one of the first women to have taught mathematics, Hypatia was described by Socrates as “[to] far surpass all the philosophers of her own time”. She contributed to the mathematical commentary of famous works alongside her father, famous scholar Theon of Alexandria. She also contrived books to help her students understand math; Hypatia was also an astronomer so her quantitative skills were greatly applicable to various fields of study.


  • Sophie Germain (1776 to 1831): Reading about Greek mathematician Archimedes in her father’s study is what fueled Sophie to explore her newfound interest in geometry and Latin. She wasn’t given the same opportunity to receive education in math due to being a woman, so she would submit her works under a false name! Her hard work is what aided her in becoming the first woman to receive an award from the French Academy of Sciences!


  • Ada Lovelace (1815 to 1852): As the child of famous poet Lord Byron, the Countess of Lovelace was drawn away from emotional disciplines and thrown into education regarding math as well as science. After being offered to transcribe a translation about one of the first forms of computers ever invented, she created her notes thus sparking the first worldly acknowledged computer program.


  • Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850 to 1891): Since women in Russia were unable to attend intellectual lectures, Sofia Kovalevskaya had the privilege of being privately tutored once she relocated to Germany with her husband. Following her spouse’s death, she became a mathematics lecturer at the University of Stockholm; she was the first woman in Europe to receive a professor’s position! 


  • Emmy Noether (1882-1935): In the words of the infamous Albert Einstein, he regarded Noether posthumously as “the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began.” Wow, what a statement! Emmy was most well known for her efforts in abstract algebra, which is what she received her Ph.D. in. She worked closely alongside Einstein by aiding in developing the framework for his theory of relativity, which happened once she left Europe and landed her first teaching position in America. She also made personal strides in the field of algebra. 


Now, there is an assorted amount of women beyond these five that did just as much and more for the evolution of math. These women are heavily prominent due to their rewards and successes being the first of many in the environments they grew up in. Not only that, but prominent male figures in the industry experienced firsthand their intellectual capabilities; the praise they received from these men is what also enabled their infamy to grow. 


Despite any male attention or validation they did receive, women are just as capable of fortifying the theory and practice of math as men. Due to many societal confinements throughout history, their innate characteristics have unfairly worked against them. 


Even though our present-day doesn’t experience the same form of severity, there is subconscious conformity of opinion against any woman who desires to explore fields heavily male-dominated. 


I encourage everyone to motivate young minds to explore topics, especially educational ones, despite who dominates them. If you happen to be an instructor of children of varying identities, implement a community of equity and fairness. It’ll ensure they all have the same opportunity to pursue their passions and exercise their infinite childlike wealth of wonder and knowledge

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