women in math

Women’s Contributions to Mathematics

Hypatia of Alexandria

Science, engineering and mathematics have always been male dominated fields. Regardless of the many obstacles that women face to enter such fields, mathematical theory owes much to female mathematicians throughout time! Starting with Hypatia in the fifth century AD.

Hypatia was one of the first female mathematicians in history, who excelled in philosophy, science and mathematics. Her father Theon of Alexandria was also a famous philosopher and mathematician. Hypatia invented the hydrometer  and developed several mathematical works together with her father.

Maria Agnesi

Italian-born Maria Agnesi (1718 – 1799) also made major contributions to mathematics, and in calculus specifically. She is credited with writing the first book on differential and integral calculus. According to most experts, Agnesi was the first important woman mathematician after Hypatia.

Sophie Germain

Some women, such as French Sophie Germain (1776 – 1831), even pretended to be a man so that their work would be taken seriously! It is ridiculous how damaging the oppression of women can be – as it stifles half of a world’s intellectual power.

Read more:

Female Mathematicians and Their Contributions

Math’s Hidden Woman

About Claire

I grew up in both the Netherlands and the US. When I moved to America at age 10 I was confronted with conflicting social constructs of gender and class. As a student of the social and cognitive sciences, I gained a greater understanding of how human decision-making can lead to unintended system-wide consequences in the interdependent world we live in, especially when you throw stereotyping into the mix. Having struggled as both a poor and female American citizen, I am quite aware of what it means to blame a victim for their circumstances. I feel that I have a voice, and responsibility, to stand up for those who are currently silent.

One thought on “Women’s Contributions to Mathematics

  1. as a sister calculus & quantum physics nerd, I LOVE this. Thank you. It’s so difficult at times to scratch women’s contributions out of history. Have you read Plato’s Symposium? In wading through that book, it’s mentioned that Socrates learned most of what he knew from a female “oracle”, even though he’s credited by current history for those ideas himself.

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