Share

Mathematics

Content type
Collection
Math Equations on a Chalkboard

Mind Your Own Business

by Molly Weiner

My accelerated math class has nearly twice as many boys as girls. There are only five of us. I’m no stranger to a good mansplaining, or to feeling like an anomaly in a math bros club. While many interactions in Honors Precalc make me feel like a fish out of water, a comment like “mind your own business” really highlights just how different it is to be a girl in an advanced math class.

Topics: Schools, Mathematics
Emmy Noether and Martine Rothblatt

Female Heroes in STEM: Emmy Noether and Martine Rothblatt

by Shira Minsk

Female leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are few and far between, and Jewish female role models in those fields are even harder to find. Emmy Noether and Martine Rothblatt are superheros whose hard work and intellect propelled them to defy the odds and make contributions to the world that will outlive them.

Emmy Noether, Edited Doodle

Shining a Light on Mathematical Brilliance

by Dahlia Japhet

Over the past 106 years, 48 women have been honored with the Nobel Prize. Amalie Emmy Noether, a German Jewish mathematician who is now known as the “mother of abstract algebra,” is not one of them.

Shafi Goldwasser

Shafi Goldwasser was honored with the Turing Award, the highest honor in computer science, for her work in revolutionizing the field of cryptography.

Hertha Ayrton

The first woman proposed for membership in the Royal Society, Hertha Ayrton created inventions from tools architects used for enlarging and reducing drawings to fans that could clear poison gas from mine shafts.

Olga Taussky-Todd

A self-proclaimed torchbearer for matrix theory, Olga Taussky-Todd made the previously little-known field essential for scientists and mathematicians.

Emmy Noether

Praised by many, including Albert Einstein, as the most important woman in the history of mathematics, Emmy Noether helped develop abstract algebra and crafted a theorem explaining the connection between symmetry and conservation laws in physics.

Ruth Barcan Marcus

Ruth Barcan Marcus made major contributions to logic, mathematics, and philosophy, arguing with thinkers like Bertrand Russell about the essential nature of names.

Lillian R. Lieber

Frustrated with the way math is taught in schools, Lillian R. Lieber created unconventional, popular books to excite young readers and incite their curiosity.

Gertrude Elion / Nina Fefferman

Scientists

Leaders in the Lab

Nina Fefferman

Evolutionary biologist and epidemiologist Nina Fefferman uses mathematical models to chart how individual choices ripple outward to affect whole groups, helping create strategies to save populations from endangered tortoises to human communities stricken by disease.

Pamela Sussman Paternoster

Pamela Sussman Paternoster’s work with the Algebra Project helped teach thousands of disadvantaged students math skills that could open up the possibility of a college education.

Ruth Barcan Marcus, 1921 - 2012

Not afraid to make enemies and blessed with many loyal friends, [she] was unrelenting and consistent in upholding the highest standards for rigor and clarity in philosophy and in academia more generally.

"Top Secret Rosies": How female computers helped win WWII

by  Leah Berkenwald

Back before Microsoft, IBM, and Apple, the word "computer" referred to a person who computes.

Mollie Orshansky, 1915 - 2006

Mollie was very smart, independent, and a hardworking government employee. She was called 'Miss Poverty' because she developed the poverty index widely used by the Federal government as a basis for benefit programs involving low income individuals and families.

Science in Israel

In October 2003 the European Commission published She Figures, a survey on women in science and technology in member countries and associates (including Israel), which cited statistics and other data that provide a basis for measuring the degree of progress towards equality of the sexes in these spheres.

Mattie Rotenberg

Journalist, educator, homemaker, and community stalwart with a Ph.D. in physics, Mattie (née Levi) Rotenberg was born in Toronto to parents who had immigrated as teenagers when Jewish Toronto was a village with a population of barely 2000.

Olga Taussky-Todd

Olga Taussky-Todd's work and passion helped shape matrix theory and draw other talented mathematicians to its development.

Mindel Cherniack Sheps

As a physician, biostatistician, and demographer, Mindel Cherniack Sheps was acutely aware of the role science could play as a powerful social force. She taught that peace, social justice, and science were inextricably bound; humanism in any field must be based on social equity and knowledge.

Emmy Noether

Emmy Noether, a German mathematician, was the world leader in the twentieth-century development of modern “abstract” algebra. Her writing, the students she inspired, and their books wholly changed the form and content of higher algebra throughout the world.

Nelly Neumann

Nelly Neumann, who worked in synthetic geometry, was among the first women to obtain doctorates in mathematics at a German university.

Lillian R. Lieber

Lillian R. Lieber devoted her professional life to introducing modern mathematics to young people and to making them aware of the political and ethical implications of science and mathematics. In her books and lectures, she noted that although as much mathematics was created since 1800 as in the period from the origin of mathematics until 1800, students were not taught any of the modern mathematics until they reached college. She believed that in order to get students excited about mathematics, it was essential to teach the revolutionary aspects of such fields as Galois theory of groups, non-Euclidean geometry, and modern logic. In a series of books, each devoted to a single branch of mathematics or physics, she treated these subjects as well as lattice theory, the theory of infinities, and Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Margarete Kahn

Margarete Kahn was a student of the great mathematician David Hilbert (1862–1943), who decisively influenced the development of mathematics around the turn of the century. Of his sixty-nine doctoral students, six were women—four foreigners and two German-born Jewish women. Both the latter wrote their doctoral theses on topology and worked on Problem sixteen of the famous Twenty-three Mathematical Problems presented by Hilbert in a lecture he delivered in 1900 at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris.

Käte Hamburger

Born in Hamburg on September 21, 1896, Käte Hamburger grew up in a middle-class home which enabled her, even as an adult, to obtain a relatively orderly academic education, even throughout World War I. She studied philosophy and graduated in Munich in 1922. The topics with which she dealt throughout her “writing life” became truly her own. Thus reading Jean Paul’s Titan during an illness shortly after her graduation resulted in her essay “The Problem of Death in Jean Paul.” Here we already see an inclination towards literature, even though her approach always remained philosophical.

Hilda Geiringer

Hilda Geiringer’s life epitomizes both the successes and frustrations of women in academia in the early twentieth century. A pioneering applied mathematician, she was the first woman to receive an academic appointment in mathematics at the University of Berlin. Despite her distinguished publications, after immigrating to the United States, she could find jobs only at women’s colleges.

Subscribe to Mathematics

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox