It’s Women’s History Month, so Let’s Celebrate Mathematicians

By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Director of Miracle Math Coaching

If you post on Facebook, search on Google or write using Microsoft Word, you can thank a woman.

In the mid-1800s, Mathematician Ada Lovelace made calculations of rational numbers in what is now known as the first computer program.  Her mother pushed Ada to study math and science so she wouldn’t develop the emotional moodiness of her father, the poet, Lord Byron, according to a Smithsonian Magazine article.  (I don’t get the logic myself, but “hooray” for the encouragement.)

Lovelace is one of many women mathematicians who we rarely hear about but who have made great contributions to society.  Thanks to the excellent film, “Hidden Figures,” we know the story of Katherine Johnson, one of three African-American math whizzes essential to launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit around the earth in 1962.

But did you know that the first woman mathematician was Hypatia of Greece? She was born around 350 AD and became a rock star astronomer, philosopher, scholar and professor in Alexandria, Egypt.  According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography:

“Although all of her work has been lost or destroyed, history regards Hypatia of Alexandria as the only famous female scholar of ancient times. She was the first woman ever known to teach and analyze highly advanced mathematics.”

Born in 1882, Emmy Noether is a mathematician who earned high praise from the iconic Albert Einstein.  A master of Abstract Algebra, she developed mathematical foundations for his Theory of Relativity.  He called her a “significant, creative mathematical genius.”

Celebrating female mathematicians is important:  Women are far underrepresented in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  Girls and young women might choose such careers if they know about the pioneers who excelled in these male-dominated fields.

Stay tuned for a future post on strategies to help your daughters (and sons!) get excited about pursuing careers in STEM.

In the meantime, if you want to learn how to help your child excel academically, call Miracle Math  at 707-398-3474.  And definitely contact us for a  FREE Learning Discovery Evaluation to see where your child stands academically and how we might help:  Click here to sign up now.  Miracle Math Coaching is an award-winning, student-focused service with a track record of boosting academic achievement.

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