MathematicianEmmy Noether

Lived from March 23, 1882 to April 14, 1935


Training: Before becoming a mathematician, Emmy had planned to teach English and French to girls. However, after passing the required examinations, she decided to instead study mathematics at the University of Erlangen. Although she was only allowed to audit classes, she still managed to pass her graduation exam. Afterwards, she spent some time studying at the University of Göttingen before returning to the University of Erlangen to earn her doctorate.

Accomplishments: Emmy is best known for her contributions to the fields of abstract algebra and theoretical physics. She also proved the Noether’s Theorem, which was subsequently named after her. Some consider her theorem as important as Einstein’s theory of relativity! Her accomplishments are made even more impressive because of all the obstacles in her way as a Jewish woman in Germany. She taught at the University of Göttingen her first few years unpaid and often under another professor’s name due to the fact that other faculty at Göttingen did not believe women should be professors. However, her work paid off and she is now considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century.

Fun Fact: The crater Nöther on the moon is named after her!

Read more about her career! College ProfessorMathematicianResearcher