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women have made major contributions to the field of mathematics

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Morales, Jessika Math 115 November 25, 2005 Women in a Man's World Math is commonly known as the man's major. Many college math professors are men and the same goes for their students. "One study revealed that women accounted for 15% of students in computer science, 16% in electrical engineering,. . . Gender splits in teh faculty were similar" (Cukier). There are few women that have made an impact on the math society compared the number of men. A person can ramble off names such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Pythagoras of Samos, and Jean-Fran�ois Niceron. Where are the women mathematicians? This paper will examine the lives of women that have made an impact on the world of mathematics. There might be more men in the field of mathematics however the women that have made contributions need to be seen as equals. Three women that have made an impact include Mary Fairfax Somerville, Maria Gaetana Agnesi and Charlotte Angas Scott. Mary Fairfax Somerville was born on December 26, 1780 into a wealthy family of a vice admiral in the British Navy. While growing up she recieved little formal education. ...read more.


At her teens, Maria mastered mathematics" (Cite). Her days of a child were filled with discussions with guests about abstract philosophical and mathematics. As a shy child she did not care much for these discussions and after the death of her mother retreated from the discussions in order to care for her twenty siblings and father. The task of caring for her family did not slow down her studies, in 1738 she published a book of essays called Propositiones Philosophicae. This book included many of the discussions that she held as child with the guests that entered her home and also her point of veiw of edcuatioon that women should recieve. Her most important worked started when she was the age of twenty. "It is said that she started writing Analytical Institutions as a textbook for her brothers, which then grew into a more serious effort" (Cite). The book was one of the first books on finite and infinitesimal analysis. Analytical Institiutions provided a clear summary of the "state of knowledge in mathematical analysis" (Cite). She is most remember from the curve witch of agnesi. "Agnesi wrote the equation of this curve in the form y = a*sqrt(a*x-x*x)/x because she considered the x-axis to be the vertical axis and the y-axis to be the horizontal axis " (Cite). ...read more.


She established policies as Chief Examiner in 1902 and 1903 that are still in effect"(Cite). Carollette also become the author of a book entitled An Introductory Account of Certain Modern Ideas and Methods in Plane Analytical Geometry(1894) which is still used today. The American Journal of Mathematics has published over thirty of her papers, and later became the co-editor the journal. "Charlotte also served as the first woman on the first Council when the AMS began in 1894. She and her first Ph.D. student were two of nine women among a 250 AMS membership. She again served on the AMS Council from 1899 - 1901 and in 1905 she became the vice-president" (Cite). She is credited with being the author of the first mathematical research paper written in the US to be widely recognized in Europe. After retirement she returned back to London and where she helped other women pursure careers in mathematics. In Conclusion, women have made major contributions to the field of mathematics. Their formuals might not be the most famous and widely used however these three women paved a way for many women today in the field of mathematics. Despite the low numbers of women in the math world, the women that do succeed make an impact that will not be forgotten. ...read more.

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