Gender Equity for Mathematics and Science
Notes on Invited Faculty presentations
- Women in Science and Mathematics
- Who were the educated women throughout history?
- Changes in attitudes towards math and science learning - Why?
- Women in science and mathematics biographical sketches
- In the past most women were not educated (learning to sew, music, dance, cook = woman's education).
- Ancient Greeks and many who followed did not think most women had the level of intelligence for academic discussion.
- There were a few women allowed - not wives!
- Many went into the convent in order to become "academics." (Monks' libraries were available to them.)
- Classical (Latin, Greek, the "great works") education was the upper class education.
- Math was "degrading"; it soiled you.
- Math was for merchants.
- Common denominators for women who were successful in science was:
- Courage (and, of course, intelligence).
- Family support.
- Often a father or male (family member) who encouraged.
- Sophia Germain - lived during the French Revolution. Was forced to stay at home - used her father's library for study - at 13 taught herself differential calculus. Could not study in French universities so used a pen name, M. LeBlanc. Impressed Gauss.
- Nine Nobel Prize Winning Women (see next page).
- Lady Ada Byron Lovelace (1815-1852 - daughter of Lord Byron). As a colleague of Charles Babbage, she developed what is considered the first computer program.
- Mary Everest Boole and her daughter Alicia
- Mary was wife of George Boole. She was an excellent mathematics pedagogist; died 1916.
- Daughter Alicia during early 20th century considered an excellent geometer (credit for Alicia's cleverness given to father).
- Hypatia (370-414 AD)
- First great woman mathematician.
- Educated at Alexandria - encouraged by father.
- Tragic death.
- Emilie du Chatelet (1706-1749)
- Mistress of Voltaire.
- Soap opera life.
- Translated Newton's Principia into French.
- Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)
- Child prodigy - father, professor of mathematics, encouraged her.
- Wrote important work used as textbook.
- First half of life as a mathematician - second half as a humane nun working with poor.
- Mary Fairfax Somerville (1780-1872)
- One of the best scientific writers of the day - work on astronomy used as a text.
- Sonya Kovalevskaya (1850-1891)
- Studied mathematics using her father's university notes which were used temporarily to wallpaper their new estate.
- Married in order to leave Russia.
- First woman lecturer at Stockholm University.
WOMEN NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS
|1903 || PHYSICS ||MARIE SKLODOWSKA CURIE |
|1911 || CHEMISTRY ||MARIE SKLODOWSKA CURIE |
|1935 || CHEMISTRY ||IRENE JOLIOT-CURIE |
|1947 || BIOCHEMISTRY ||GERTY RADNITZ CORI |
|1963 || PHYSICS ||MARIA GOEPPERT MAYER |
|1964 || CHEMISTRY ||DOROTHY CROWFOOT HODGKIN |
|1977 || MEDICAL PHYSICS ||ROSALYN SUSSMAN YALOW |
|1983 || MEDICINE or PHYSIOLOGY ||BARBARA McCLINTOCK |
|1986 || MEDICINE or PHYSIOLOGY ||RITA LEVI-MONTALCINI |
|1988 || BIOCHEMISTRY ||GERTRUDE B. ELION |
Compiled by Karen Dee Michalowicz. Source: McGrayne, S.B., Nobel Prize Women in Science, New York, NY, Birch Lane Press, 1993.
BIBLIOGRAPHY - HISTORICAL WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS
Compiled by Karen Dee Michalowicz
Newton was reported to have said that he achieved what he did because he stood on the "shoulders of giants." Newton's giants were the great mathematicians and scientists of history who went before him. Women scientists, mathematicians, and educators of science and mathematics are where they are today because of the struggles of the courageous historical "Women in Science." It is these women on whose shoulders contemporary women stand.
Students need to hear about the history of science and mathematics. They need to know about their scientific foremothers and forefathers. This bibliography could be a place to start.
The starred sources are recommended for one's personal library.
- *Boyer, C. A History of Mathematics, New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1991.
- [This work is not dedicated to women. It is one of the best references, however, if you are interested in the history of mathematics.]
- Edeen, J. and S., V. Slachman, Portraits for Classroom Bulletin Boards - Women Mathematicians, Palo Alto, CA: Dale Seymour Pubs., 1990.
- [Women Scientists also available.]
- Grinstein, L. and P. Campbell, eds., Women of Mathematics, New York, NY, Greenwood Press, 1987.
- Jackson, G., Black Women - Makers of History - A Portrait, Oakland, CA: GRT Printing, 1975.
- *Kass-Simon, G., and P. Farnes, Women of Science: Righting The Record, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990.
- MacHale, D., George Boole: His Life and Work, Dublin: Boole Press, 1985.
- [Contains information about Mary Everest Boole and Alicia Boole.]
- *McGrayne, S.B., Nobel Prize Women in Science - Their Lives, Struggles and Momentous Discoveries, New York, NY: Birch Lane Press, 1993.
- *Mozans, J.J., Women in Science, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
- [This book was first published in 1913. It is quite remarkable because it was written by Fr. John Zahn, the founder of the science department at Notre Dame. He had to use a pen name because of the extraordinary feminist character of the book.]
- *Ogilvie, L. Women in Science - Antiquity Through the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.
- Olsen, L., Women in Mathematics, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1974.
- Outstanding Women in Mathematics and Science - Picture Series, Windsor, CA: National Women's History Project.
- [National Women's History Project, 7738 Bell Road, Windsor, CA 95492, (707) 838-6000; catalogues available.]
- Paz, Octavio, Sor Juana, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988.
- [About first North American feminist.]
- *Perl, T., Women and Numbers, San Carlos, CA: World Wide Publishing, 1993.
- Phillips, P., The Scientific Lady - A Social History of Woman's Scientific Interests 1520 - 1918, New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1990.
- Renn, J. & R. Schulmann, Albert Einstein/Mileva Maric - The Love Letters, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992.
- Reimer, L., & W. Reimer, Mathematicians are People, Too, Palo Alto, CA: Dale Seymour Pubs., 1990.
- Spender, Dale, Women of Ideas and What Men Have Done To Them, London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1982.
- Women Who Dared - A Book of Postcards. San Francisco, CA: Pomegranate Artbooks.
Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program in Mathematics
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
CN 5281, Princeton NJ 08543-5281