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Mathematics - History of Mathematical Sciences | Remembering Sofya Kovalevskaya

Remembering Sofya Kovalevskaya

Audin, Michele

Translation from the French language edition: ‘Souvenirs sur Sofia Kovalevskaya’ by Michèle Audin Copyright © 2008 Calvage et Mounet, France

2011, IX, 284p. 97 illus., 47 illus. in color.

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  • The first biography to be written about Sofya Kovalevskaya by a renowned mathematician
  • Offers a well-rounded narrative that incorporates literature, mathematics and personal biography
  • May also appeal to those doing general feminist studies

Sofia Kovalevskaya was a brilliant and determined young Russian woman of the 19th century who wanted to become a mathematician and who succeeded, in often difficult circumstances, in becoming arguably the first woman to have a professional university career in the way we understand it today. This memoir, written by a mathematician who specialises in symplectic geometry and integrable systems, is a personal exploration of the life, the writings and the mathematical achievements of a remarkable woman. It emphasises the originality of Kovalevskaya’s work and assesses her legacy and reputation as a mathematician and scientist. Her ideas are explained in a way that is accessible to a general audience, with diagrams, marginal notes and commentary to help explain the mathematical concepts and provide context.

This fascinating book, which also examines Kovalevskaya’s love of literature, will be of interest to historians looking for a treatment of the mathematics, and those doing feminist or gender studies.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » 19th century mathematics - Sofya Kovalevskaya

Related subjects » History of Mathematical Sciences - Mechanics - Personality & Social Psychology

Table of contents 

Sofya’s chronology.- Sofya’s names.- Stories.- The thesis of Sofya, the Cauchy–Kovalevskaya theorem.- The Solid.- A letter to Mittag-Leffler.- Stockholm.- A letter to Vollmar.- The Bordin prize and Sofya’s reputation.- The women of Men of mathematics.- I remember Sofya, by George, Gösta, Julia and all the rest.- I too remember Sofya.- Bibliography.

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