International women's day 2012

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Plus investigating the mathematics of sound waves.

Today is International Women's Day! Plus is run entirely by women who are happily disregarding maths and gender stereotypes, so we're very pleased to join in the celebrations. We've got lots of content by or about women mathematicians on Plus and here are some of our favourites. (And we'd like to ask all remaining dinosaurs to stop sending us emails starting "Dear Sirs"...)

Some mathematical heroines from the past:

Some present-day mathematical heroines from our careers library:

Articles by and about mathematical heroines from the present:

Mathematical heroines of the future!:

And just a few of the other female mathematicians whose work we have enjoyed hearing about (and hope to one day feature on Plus!):

  • Irit Dinur, who works on computer science, combinatorics and probabilistically checkable proofs – Dinur's talk was the standout lecture at the ICM 2010
  • Dorit Aharovnov, who works on quantum computing – another favourite lecture from the ICM 2010

You can listen to some conversations we've had with female mathematicians about their careers and roles in mathematics (these are podcasts):

And you can find out more about mathematical heroines past and present at the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive and from Agness Scott College.

Who are your mathematical heroines? Tell us by leaving a comment below!


Emmy Noether has always been one of my favorites. She worked for no pay at Mathematical Institute of Erlangen for 7 years then joined the math department at University of Gottingen where she had to lecture under the name of one of the male professors. What an incredible woman.

And this comic is awesome. It captures the spirit of women in science.

  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.