Emmy Noether

Scholar Rescue Fund: Emmy Noether

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"Fraulein Noether was the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began." Albert Einstein, 1935

A Jewish woman in early 20th century Germany, Emmy Noether worked without pay or title for much of her life. Alive at a time when girls were not supposed to attend college preparatory schools, she was often forbidden from lecturing under her own name. Despite these obstacles, Noether became one of the greatest algebraists of the century, known for her theorems in ring theory and for changing the way mathematicians approach their subject. "She taught us to think in simple and general terms... and not in complicated algebraic calculations," a colleague remarked.

Despite her intellectual achievements and the recognition of prominent mathematicians, Noether endured years of poor treatment by German universities. In 1933, she lost her teaching position due to being a Jew and a woman, and was forced out of Germany by the Nazis. Noether came to Bryn Mawr College through the help of IIE's Emergency Committee, and soon collected many students and colleagues around her. The post at Bryn Mawr was the first time in her life that Noether had been given a normal faculty appointment.

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