Timeline of women in mathematics

This article is a timeline of women appearances in mathematics.


350–370 until 415: The lifetime of Hypatia, a Greek Alexandrine Neoplatonist philosopher in Egypt who was the first well-documented woman in mathematics.[1] She was head of the Neoplatonic School in Alexandria, Egypt, from the year 400. Her students were young men from around the empire.

1678 Elena Cornaro Piscopia became to receive an academic degree from a university, and the first to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree. She went on to be a lecturer at the University of Padua in mathematics..

19th CenturyEdit

1827: French mathematician Sophie Germain saw her theorem, known as Germain's Theorem, published in a footnote of a book by the mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre.[2][3] In this theorem Germain proved that if x, y, and z are integers and if x5 + y5 = z5 then either x, y, or z must be divisible by 5. Germain's theorem was a major step toward proving Fermat's last theorem for the case where n equals 5.[2]

1829: The first public examination of an American girl in geometry was held.[4]

1874: Russian mathematician Sofya Kovalevskaya became the first woman in modern Europe to gain a doctorate in mathematics, which she earned from the University of Göttingen in Germany.[5]

1888: The Kovalevskaya top, one of a brief list of known examples of integrable rigid body motion, was discovered by Sofya Kovalevskaya.[6][7]

1889: Sofya Kovalevskaya was appointed as the first female professor in Northern Europe, at the University of Stockholm.[5][8]

20th CenturyEdit

1918: German mathematician Emmy Noether published Noether's (first) theorem.

1927: American mathematician Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler became the first woman to present a lecture at the American Mathematical Society Colloquium.[9]

1930: Cecilia Krieger became the first woman to earn a PhD in mathematics in Canada, at the University of Toronto.[10]

1956: American mathematician Gladys West began collecting data from satellites at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division. Her calculations directly impacted the development of accurate GPS systems.[11]

1960 and 1966: Lucy Joan Slater published two books about mathematical functions from the Cambridge University Press, one of the world's largest academic publisher.[12][13]


1983: Julia Robinson became the first female president of the American Mathematical Society.[14]


1995: American mathematician Margaret H. Wright became the first female president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.[9]

1998: Melanie Wood became the first female American to make the U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad Team. She won silver medals in the 1998 and 1999 International Mathematical Olympiads.[15]

21st CenturyEdit


2004: American Alison Miller became the first ever female gold medal winner on the U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad Team.[16]


2016: The London Mathematical Society's Women in Mathematics Committee was awarded the Royal Society's inaugural Athena Prize.

2019: American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck became the first woman to win the Abel Prize."[17][18]

Related pagesEdit


  1. Scholasticus, Socrates. Ecclesiastical History. Archived from the original on 2009-04-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Sophie Germain". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  3. "Sophie Germain page". math.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  4. Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Susan B. Anthony; Matilda Joslyn Gage; Ida Husted Harper, eds. (1889). History of Woman Suffrage: 1848–1861, Volume 1. Susan B. Anthony. p. 36. Retrieved 2011-04-18. the first public examination of a girl in geometry (1829).
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Sofya Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya (Russian mathematician) -- Encyclopædia Britannica". britannica.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  6. S. Kovalevskaya, Sur Le Probleme De La Rotation D'Un Corps Solide Autour D'Un Point Fixe, Acta Mathematica 12 (1889) 177–232.
  7. E. T. Whittaker, A Treatise on the Analytical Dynamics of Particles and Rigid Bodies, Cambridge University Press (1952).
  8. "COOL, CREATIEF, HIP met ICT - Innovative women". chai-x.nl. Archived from the original on 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Prizes, Awards, and Honors for Women Mathematicians". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  10. Zuschlag, Anna. "Cecilia Krieger". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  11. "How Gladys West uncovered the 'Hidden Figures' of GPS". GPS World. 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  12. Slater, Lucy Joan (1960), Confluent hypergeometric functions, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press,
  13. Slater, Lucy Joan (1966), Generalized hypergeometric functions, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  14. "Profiles of Women in Mathematics: Julia Robinson". awm-math.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  15. "The New York Times". Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  16. "Math Forum @ Drexel: Congratulations, Alison!". mathforum.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  17. "IMPA - Karen Uhlenbeck: The Struggle for a Place in the Sun". Impa.br. Archived from the original on 2019-02-18. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  18. Change, Kenneth (March 19, 2019). "Karen Uhlenbeck Is First Woman to Receive Abel Prize in Mathematics". New York Times. Retrieved 19 March 2019.