Sophie Germain

Mathematician, Deceased Person

1776 – 1831

3

Who was Sophie Germain?

Marie-Sophie Germain was a French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. Despite initial opposition from her parents and difficulties presented by society, she gained education from books in her father's library and from correspondence with famous mathematicians such as Lagrange, Legendre, and Gauss. One of the pioneers of elasticity theory, she won the grand prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences for her essay on the subject. Her work on Fermat's Last Theorem provided a foundation for mathematicians exploring the subject for hundreds of years after. Because of prejudice against her gender, she was unable to make a career out of mathematics, but she worked independently throughout her life. In recognition of her contribution towards advancement of mathematics, an honorary degree was also conferred upon her by University of Göttingen six years after her death. At the Centenary of her life, a street and a girl’s school were named after her, and the Academy of Sciences established The Grand Prix Sophie Germain in her honour.

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Born
Apr 1, 1776
Paris
Nationality
  • France
Profession
Education
  • École Polytechnique
Died
Jun 27, 1831
Paris

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Sophie Germain." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 17 Aug. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/sophie_germain>.

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