Sofya Kovalevskaya was a 19th century Russian Mathematician, novelist, and political activist. She was born into Russia at a time of political unrest and, well, pretty restrictive times for women. How restrictive? Like she literally had to fake a marriage so she could legally leave Russia and go to a country that would allow her to study past high school - and that's just the beginning of her story, my friends.
Joining us to talk about Sofya is Francesca Bernardi, the co-founder of the high school summer camp - Girls Talk Math! The camp is hosted at the Univerisity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and not only introduces girls to complex math concepts that they wouldn't otherwise encounter until grad school, but to historic lady mathematicians, whom they they create a podcast about. I know - it's like Femmes of STEM Jr!
PS - The audio sounds a bit shitty for the first three minutes of the episode, but it goes back to normal after that I promise!
Show Notes, References, and Further Reading
Sonya Kowaleskaya - Her life and work. 1977. Linda Keen. Association for Women in Mathematics Newsletter.
A Divergence of Biographies: Kovalevskaya and Her Expositors. 1984. Ann K. Stehney. Physics Today.
Through the looking Glass of History: mathematicians in the land of poetry. 2017. Alla Shmukler and Clara Ziskin. Journal of Mathematics and the Arts.
‘The first handsome mathematical lady I’ve ever seen!’ On the role of beauty in portrayals of Sofia Kovalevskaya. 2017. Eva Kaufholz-Soldat. Bulletin: Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics.
The thin end of the wedge: Foreign women professors as double strangers in academia. 2008. Barbara Czarniawaska and Guje Sevon. Gender, Work, and Organization.
Women Communicating Mathematics: The Historic Role of Women. 2002. Micheal Bosse and Deborah Hurd. Mathematics and Computer Education; Vol. 36, Issue 3: 218-226.
No Nobel Prize for Mathematics? Is it Kovalevskaya's Fault? 2015. M. Ziegler. Spektrum Sci Logs.