Emmy Noether

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  • Topic: Emmy Noether, Bryn Mawr College, Theoretical physics
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  • Published : March 13, 2012
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The Work of Emmy Noether
When an individual considers famous work from past mathematicians’, men are generally the one’s that come to mind. Of course Emmy Noether was not a man, but proved that women can do the same work as men and excel in the same areas. During Noether’s era, she faced discrimination at the university level, but went on to pursue her desires and to teach mathematics.

Noether was born on March 23, 1882 as Amalie Emmy Noether in Germany, but went by the name of Emmy. Noether was born to Ida Amalie a woman who came from a wealthy family and whom she was named after. Her father Max Noether was a mathematics professor and would later be identified simply as Emmy Noether’s father. Noether grew up as an average upper middle class girl learning the arts. During Noether’s time, females were unable to attend college prep schools, so she went to “general finishing” school instead. (Emmy Noether) When she finished in 1900, Emmy was able to teach English and French. After changing her mind about teaching these two disciplines, Noether decided she would like to study mathematics at the college level. For advancing her studies, Noether had to receive permission from the professors and take an entrance examination.

After passing the entrance examination at the University of Göttingen in 1903, she transferred back to Erlangen in 1904 when the university would allow women to enroll. “Her dissertation in algebraic math earned her a doctorate summa cum laude in 1908.” (Lewis, 2006) After receiving her degree, Noether worked at the Mathematic Institute of Erlangen without pay or an official teaching title from 1908 to 1915. In 1915 she started working with Klein and Hilbert on Einstein’s general relativity theory. “In 1918 she proved two theorems that were basic for both general relativity and elementary particle physics. Today, one of these theories is still known as "Noether's Theorem." (Emmy Noether)

Noether came to the United States in...
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