Famous Women Mathematicians

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Famous women mathematicians include Hypatia, who worked with ellipses, circles and hyperbolas; Florence Nightingale, who worked extensively with statistics; and Winifred Edgerton, who was the first American woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics. Find out more about women mathematicians, such as Theano, wife of Pythagoras, with information from a math teacher in this free video on math history.

Part of the Video Series: Math Problems & History
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Video Transcript

All right, so we know a lot of men worked on mathematics, but what about the women? Hi, I'm Jimmy. I've been teaching college mathematics for nine years, and we're here to talk about a few of the famous women mathematicians that have worked with the subject throughout history. Now, the first of which, one of the first women known to have worked with mathematics was Hypatia. Now, Hypatia made the whole idea of conics, which are shapes such as ellipses, circles, hyperbolas, and parabolas much easier to understand. She took the work of Apol Polonius, and took his works and made it make more sense to everyday use, and she is a huge reason as to why we're able to work with them in much easier terms today. You may know her as a nurse, and a popular and famous figure in the medical field, but Florence Nightingale was once called the prophetess of applied statistics. In her work in the medical, as well as the mathematics field she invented the polar area chart, which was a chart designed where the statistics were labeled in the form of wedges that you might see on a pie chart, so she really worked a lot in the statistical statistical field, in addition to the nursing field. You may not have heard of Theano. Well, she was actually the wife of Pythagoras, inventor of the Pythagorean Theorem. She got to live a little longer than he did, and so what happens is that she ran the school of Pythagoras after his death, but also wrote some works on the golden ratio, which is a famous number that's used still to this day. And last but not least, we have Winifred Edgerton, who was the first American woman ever to receive a PHD in mathematics. Now, some of her work involved the geometric interpretations of multiple integrals, as well as her work involved using being able to figure out the computation of the orbit of the comet. So, this is just a glimpse as to women mathematicians. And I'm Jimmy Chang, and I hope you're able to find out other famous women mathematicians along the way.


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