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"A biography worthy of its subject and respectful of its reader. . . . Koblitz's understanding of Russian and European social, political, and intellectual history permeates this enjoyable biography, and her analysis and conclusions are particularly enlightening."--Physics Today
To inaugurate its series, Lives of Women in Science, Rutgers University Press reissued this much-acclaimed biography of Sofia Kovalevskaia (1850-1891), the renowned nineteenth-century mathematician, writer, and revolutionary.
Sofia Kovalevskaia's interests in mathematics was aroused at an early age--her attic nursery had been wallpapered with lecture notes for a course on calculus. She spent hours studying the mysterious walls, trying to figure out which page followed from the next. Kovalevskaia became the only woman mathematician whose name all mathematicians recognize. Indeed, she was the first professional woman scientist to win international eminence in any field: the first woman doctorate in mathematics, the first to hold a chair in mathematics, the first to sit on the editorial board of a major scientific journal.
She was also an accomplished writer, a proponent of women's rights and education, a wife and mother in an unconventional marriage, and a champion of radical political causes in Russia and Western Europe. This sympathetic portrait of a remarkable woman will appeal to all readers, non-mathematicians and mathematicians alike.
Ann Hibner Koblitz is an associate professor of history at Hartwick College and founder of the Kovalevskaia Fund, which supports women scientists in the Third World. She has won the History of Science Society's prize for outstanding work on the history of women in science.
|Preface to the Second Edition|
|Ch. I||Early Childhood and Family Relations||9|
|Ch. II||Political and Scientific Development; Early Influences||31|
|Ch. III||A Fictitious Marriage||55|
|Ch. IV||In Search of Education||81|
|Ch. V||Berlin and the Paris Commune||99|
|Ch. VI||A Doctorate in Mathematics||113|
|Ch. VII||Mathematics in Abeyance||125|
|Ch. VIII||A Slow Reawakening||143|
|Ch. IX||A Vagabond Mathematician||155|
|Ch. X||"A Princess of Science"||179|
|Ch. XI||A Woman in the European Mathematical Community||195|
|Ch. XII||Kovalevskaia's Final Years||211|
|Ch. XIII||Kovalevskaia's Mathematics||239|
|Ch. XIV||Kovalevskaia's Literary Works||257|