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Mathematics

Ruth Barcan Marcus, 1921 - 2012

Ruth Barcan Marcus was born in New York City on August 2, 1921, and grew up in the Bronx. She was the third daughter of first-generation immigrants of Eastern-European origin. Her mother was a homemaker; her father, a printer and contributing writer at the Jewish Daily Forward, and an active member of the Socialist Party. Her father died when she was eight years old, and her mother supported the family by taking in boarders.

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

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

Mollie Orshansky, 1915 - 2006

Mollie Orshansky was my good friend and esteemed colleague at the Social Security Administration where we both worked. Over the course of her long life – she lived until the age of 91 – 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.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Mathematics." (Viewed on September 22, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/mathematics>.

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