|Honored by:||The Mathematics Department|
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Sophie Germain (1776-1831) is especially associated with research in acoustics elasticity and the theory of numbers. A Parisienne, she learned calculus from books and then from a correspondence course with the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris; women were not allowed to attend classes at the school. She produced several memoirs on vibrating plates. She corresponded with eminent mathematicians under the male pseudonym M. Leblanc in order to hide her sex. Ultimately she became well-known. The great mathematician Gauss recommended her for an honorary doctorate from the University of Gottingen but she died before it was bestowed.