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emmy noether doodle •

Google continued its tradition of paying homage to important past personalities on Monday by displaying a personalized doodle meant to commemorate 133 years since the birth of German female mathematician Emmy Noether, widely regarded as the most important female contributor to the discipline in history.

The doodle, designed by graphic artist Sophie Diao, is formed out of a number of circles near a representation of Noether, with each circle outside of those containing the letters that spell Google representing mathematical or physics branches and ideas in which the German savant brought her contribution, ranging from topology to group theory and even time.

Amalie Emmy Noether was born on the 23rd of March 1882 in the Bavarian city of Erlangen into a family of Jewish origins. She overcame gender-based obstacles of Germany’s educational system at the time to become only one of the two female students at the University of Erlangen, out of the over 900 individuals in her promotion.

Noether then went on to teach without pay at Erlangen between 1908 and 1915, sometimes substituting for her father Max, an important contributor to algebraic geometry.

In 1915, she left Erlangen to join the mathematics department at the University of Gottingen at the behest of fellow savants David Hilbert and Felix Klein, but again due to gender based restrictions in the academic world of the time she was forced to teach without pay, with her lectures being advertised under Hilbert’s name.

Post World War I social changes eventually got Noether a small salary for her teaching activity during the 1920’s. Her activity in Germany was halted by the emergence of the Nazi regime, which made her ineligible to teach because of her Jewish descendance. She emigrated to the United States in 1933, where she spent her final years researching for the Bryn Mawr college, before succumbing in 1935 to an ovarian disease.

Her contribution to science ranges from abstract algebra to theoretical physics, with her eponymous theory explaining the connection between symmetry and conservation laws, among other. This made a number of savants such as Albert Einstein, Norbert Wiener or Pavel Alexandrov acknowledge her as the most important female contributor in the history of mathematics.

Image Source: Washington Post

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