Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace: the Enchantress of Numbers

By Jaime Seltzer “That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show.” – Ada Lovelace Ada Lovelace’s childhood was profoundly weird. Her father was the poet Lord Byron, who was infamously identified as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” Despite his reputation or because of it, he was successful in […]

Sophie Germain

Sophie Germain – the Queen of Primes

By Jaime Seltzer Sophie Germain was born in 1776 in France, meaning that she would come to maturity during the French Revolution. Though she was born to a relatively well-off merchant, she was not a member of the aristocracy. On one hand, this could be a good thing (see: French Revolution)! On the other hand, […]

Euphemia Haynes

Euphemia Haynes – Vanquisher of Segregationist Schools

By Jaime Seltzer Euphemia was born Martha Euphemia Lofton in 1890 in Washington, D.C., the only child of a schoolteacher and dentist. She attended Smith College and majored in mathematics with a minor in psychology, graduating in 1914; and she earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Chicago in 1930. Euphemia then […]

Emmy Noether

Emmy Noether: Mathematical Symmetry and the Laws of Conservation

By Jaime Seltzer “My methods are really methods of working and thinking; this is why they have crept in everywhere anonymously.” – Emmy Noether Emmy Noether was born in 1882 in Bavaria to a very clever family: her father was a professor at the University of Erlangen, and two of her three younger brothers became […]

Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville – The Polymath

By Jaime Seltzer Mary Somerville was born in December of 1780. She was born to two uneducated parents in Scotland, in a time where it was thought – and I do not kid – that women were too weak-minded for strenuous intellectual activity, and that the pursuit of it would quite literally set them insane. […]

Ellen Hayes

Ellen Hayes – activist, educator, mathematician, astronomer, and critical thinker

By Jaime Seltzer “Radical ideas directed toward the promotion of free thought, free speech, free opportunity, free lives, grow and spread….You and I are called to the trailblazer’s work of today. There will be those – perhaps many – who will see our blazes and follow us. We won’t know who they are, probably; but […]

Sofia Kovalevskaya

Sofia Kovalevskaïa – Mathematician, Author, Astronomer

By Jaime Seltzer “Say what you know, do what you must, come what may.” – Sofia Kovalevskaïa Sofia Kovalevskaya was born in 1850 to an upper-class Russian family. Sofia came from a fine and distinguished line of mathematicians, though she did not know it until she had been studying for some time: her grandfather had […]

Mary Kenneth Keller

Sister Mary Kenneth Keller and Computers in Education

By Jaime Seltzer Mary Kenneth Keller’s past is something of a mystery. Even her birth year is debatable! This may in part be due to the tradition of taking on a new name and something of a new identity when one takes holy vows. She was born either in 1913 or 1914 in Ohio, and […]

Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper – Amazing Grace, the Queen of Code

By Jaime Seltzer “A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.” When Grace Hopper was seven, she confounded the family by taking apart every clock in the house. Her mother, Mary Campbell Van Horne Murray, sympathized. She had once been […]

Rose Dieng-Kuntz

Rose Dieng-Kuntz: knowledge webs and artificial intelligence

By Jaime Seltzer Rose Dieng-Kuntz was born in Dakar, Senegal, where she lived with her parents and her six siblings. Her father, Henri Deng, who was a strong proponent of education and hard work, dropped Rose and her siblings off at the front gates of her school early every day. And every day, little Rose […]