Noether, Emmy, 1882-1935

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1882-03-23
Death 1935-04-14
Germans
German

Biographical notes:

Emmy Noether was born in Wilhemine Nuremberg, Germany and raised the daughter of mathematician and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Erlangen, Max Noether. At the age of eighteen she decided to pursue a career in mathematics and began auditing her father's classes. In 1907 she received a doctorate in mathematics, which made her the second woman in history to receive a doctorate degree from a German University. Since women were still not allowed to teach at the university level in Germany, after receiving her degree Noether worked at the University of Erlangen for eight years as an unpaid supervisor of doctoral students and as an occasional lecturer.

Noether was then invited to Gottingen University to write and deliver a paper on the General Relativity theory. She was well received by colleagues Felix Kline, David Hilbert and Albert Einstein. In the second year of the First World War there was an attempt to put Noether on the faculty of mathematics at Gottingen University. The attempt was unsuccessful, though David Hilbert, her strongest advocate and close friend, circumvented the institution's rejection of Noether by setting up lecture courses in his name but allowing Noether to teach them. In 1919 Noether started teaching at Gottingen in her own right and in 1922 her position at the University became salaried. In the spring of 1933, with the rise of the Nazi party to power in Germany, Noether, then fifty-one, faced persecution as a woman academic and as an anti-Nazi Jew. She left Germany for the United States and a teaching job at Bryn Mawr College. During the 1934-1935 academic year Noether taught one graduate level course in Algebra in the department of mathematics. Noether died suddenly in 1935 at the Bryn Mawr Hospital. She was cremated and her ashes were buried beneath a memorial stone in the Cloisters of Bryn Mawr College. She was eulogized by colleague Albert Einstein in the New York Times following her death. Noether is today considered the most influential female mathematician of the twentieth century.

From the guide to the Emmy Noether Materials, Bulk, 1920-1935, 1885-1935, (Bryn Mawr College)

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Subjects:

  • Education--United States
  • Women in education

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