Sophie Kowalewsky

Honored by:The Mathematics Department
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Sophie Kowalewsky (1850-91) did important work in partial differential equations. Born in Moscow, she married a paleontologist and moved to Germany. At the University of Heidelberg, she studied privately with the great mathematician Weierstrass; women were not allowed at lectures. She received a degree in absentia in 1874 for her thesis on partial differential equations. Her most famous work tells conditions when a partial differential equation has a solution that is unique and analytic. She won the Paris Academy Prize in 1888 for a paper on the integration of the equations of motion for a solid body rotating around a fixed point; the paper was of such high quality that the announced award money was doubled. In 1889, she became a professor of mathematics at Stockholm. In addition to her work in mathematics, she wrote some noted novels depicting life in Russia.


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Maria Agnesi
Sophie Germain
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Emmy Noether"