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Famous Female Mathematicians

Updated June 14, 2019 9.8k views186 items

List of famous female mathematicians, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female mathematicians list contains the most prominent and top females known for being mathematicians. There are thousand of females working as mathematicians in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic mathematicians have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a mathematician then the people below should give you inspiration.

This list contains people like Judith Grabiner and Cecilia Krieger.

While this isn't a list of all female mathematicians, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female mathematicians?" and "Who are the best female mathematicians?"
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  • Ada Lovelace
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (née Byron; 10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She was the first to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine. As a result, she is sometimes regarded as the first to recognise the full potential of a "computing machine" and one of the first computer programmers.Lovelace was the only legitimate child of poet Lord Byron and his wife Lady Byron. All of Byron's other children were born out of... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 37 (1815-1852)
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
  • Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (née Murray December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first linkers. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today. Prior to joining the Navy, Hopper earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University and was a professor of mathematics at Vassar College. Hopper attempted to enlist in the Navy during World War II but was rejected because she was 34... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 86 (1906-1992)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York
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    Hypatia

    Hypatia
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Hypatia (born c. 350–370; died 415 AD) was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a prominent thinker of the Neoplatonic school in Alexandria where she taught philosophy and astronomy. She is the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well recorded. Hypatia was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor. She is known to have written a commentary on Diophantus's thirteen-volume Arithmetica, which may survive in part, having been interpolated into Diophantus's original text, and another commentary on Apollonius of Perga's treatise on conic... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 65 (350-415)
    • Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt

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  • Marjorie Lee Browne
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    Marjorie Lee Browne (September 9, 1914 – October 19, 1979) was a mathematics educator. She was one of the first African-American women to receive a Ph.D in mathematics.... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 65 (1914-1979)
    • Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee