Sophie Germain

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  • Topic: Carl Friedrich Gauss, Mathematics, Sophie Germain
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  • Published : December 1, 2010
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Sophie Germain

Sophie Germain was a mathematician, who posed herself as a man because young women were not supposed to be taught math. Sophie Germain was born in Paris, France on April 1, 1776 to Ambroise-Francios Germain and Marie-Madeleine Germain (Lewis). She had one older sister and one younger sister. Sophie Germain full name is Marie-Sophie Germain. She changed her name to Sophie because in her family her older sister and her mother both had Marie has their first name. At the age of thirteen, she was home bound. She was not allowed to leave her house and go anywhere. Her parents kept her inside the house because of the turmoil of French Revolution (Lewis, White). She began to read stories that were in her father library. One of the stories that really intrigued Sophie was the death of Archimedes of Syracuse. The story read how Archimedes was studying a geometric figure in the sand, when a Roman soldier came by and started to ask him a few questions. And when failed to answer the question the Roman soldier asked him, the soldier killed him (White). She was so intrigued by the thought of a man so wrapped up into studying a math symbol that he lost his life doing so. So she decided that if it can capture a person like that, then she would too study it as well. Sophie taught herself geometry, mathematics, and even calculus. She even taught herself Latin and Greek (Lewis, White). She was so into learning math that no one could stop from learning it. Her parents tried to stop her from reading it but it only pushed her harder to learn more about mathematics. Her parents would take her candles away, and when they did that she would just smuggle some more candles into her room. And her parents would even take her clothes from her (Lewis, White). But her parents finally came around and supported her idea of learning math. Young women her age was not allowed to know mathematics, especially people who are considered to be middle class. In the eighteenth century...
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