The Woman Mathematician HypatiaDate: 11/7/95 at 9:0:27 From: Anonymous Subject: Hypatia Hi, this is an 8th grade student that is from Oshkosh, WI. We were trying to find information on a mathematition named Hypatia. Were stuck. We can't find any info. Help us, please! Beth Leisses Perry Tipler Middle School Date: 11/7/95 at 10:1:6 From: Doctor Sarah Subject: Re: Hypatia Hi there - If you have access to a Web browser, you can find out a lot about math history from the Internet Resource Collection of the Geometry Forum: http://mathforum.org/library/browse/static/topic/history.html There's a picture of Hypatia at http://www.scottlan.edu/lriddle/women/hypatia.htm where it says: First woman mathematician about whom there is historical evidence. Learned mathematics from her father, Theon of Alexandria. Greatly regarded as a teacher and a scholar of mathematics and philosophy. Edited works of geometry, algebra, and astronomy. Brutally murdered by a Christian mob. Source: Grinstein and Campbell. Women of Mathematics Michael Deakin. "Hypatia and Her Mathematics," American Math. Monthly, March 1994. Here's something from the History of Mathematics - MacTutor Archive (St. Andrews) Web site at http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk:80/~history/ Hypatia 370 - 415 Born Alexandria, Egypt. Died Alexandria, Egypt. Hypatia was the first woman to make a substantial contribution to the development of mathematics. Hypatia was the daughter of the mathematician and philosopher Theon. She became head of the Platonist school at Alexandria. She came to symbolize learning and science which the early Christians identified with paganism. She became the focal point of riots between Christians and non-Christians. In 412 Cyril (later St. Cyril) became patriarch of Alexandria. A few years later, according to one report, Hypatia was brutally murdered by the Nitrian monks who were a fanatical sect of Christians who were supporters of Cyril. According to another account (by Socrates Scholasticus) she was killed by an Alexandrian mob under the leadership of the leader Peter. Hypatia wrote commentaries on Diophantus' Arithmetica , on Apollonius' Conics and on Ptolemy's astronomical works. All Hypatia's work is lost except for its titles and some references to it. However no purely philosophical work is known, only work in mathematics and astronomy. Some letters of Synesius to Hypatia exist. These ask her advice on the construction of an astrolabe and a hydroscope. More information is contained in: Michael Deakin. Hypatia and Her Mathematics, American Math. Monthly, March 1994. -Doctor Sarah, The Geometry Forum |
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