Women mathematicians have made invaluable contributions to mathematics from ancient times to the present day. Despite facing various obstacles due to gender-based discrimination and societal expectations, some female mathematicians have become renowned in their fields.
While many are still unknown or unrecognized for their accomplishments, [there were 1806 women names listed on Wikipedia as a mathematician when I started writing this article] it is important that we take the time to recognize and celebrate these pioneering women who helped shape our understanding of math.
This article will explore the lives and works of famous female mathematicians such as Maryam Mirzakhani, Emmy Noether, Philippa Fawcett, and more, focusing on their specific contributions to mathematics.
Maryam Mirzakhani: The First Woman to Win the Fields Medal
Maryam Mirzakhani was a brilliant mathematician who made history by becoming the first woman to receive the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics, in 2014.
She was born in Iran in 1977 and showed an early aptitude for mathematics when she won gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1994 and 1995. She then went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from the Sharif University of Technology in Iran before attending Harvard University for her doctoral studies.
Mirzakhani’s research focused on the geometry of math surfaces and their dynamics. Her work has profoundly impacted various fields of mathematics, including hyperbolic geometry, Teichmüller theory, ergodic theory, and symplectic geometry. She was widely recognized for her contributions to understanding the moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces and for developing new techniques to study them.
What made Mirzakhani’s work so groundbreaking was her ability to connect complex ideas from…