Dora Musielak

“This biography of the mathematician Sophie Germain paints a rich portrait of a brilliant and complex woman, the mathematics she developed, her associations with Gauss and Legendre and other leading researchers, and the turbulent times in which she lived. The book can be purchased here.

Sophie Germain was in the same circle as Gauss and Legendre at the time, and both acknowledged her scientific contributions publicly. In contrast to her female forebears and peers, Sophie Germain was an accomplished mathematician who made significant contributions to the fields of number theory, plate vibration theory, and elasticity theory. She was able to cross the bridge between the fields of pure mathematics and engineering physics with relative ease. Sophie Germain was the first woman to win the prize in mathematics from the French Academy of Sciences despite being shunned by her contemporaries and working in relative obscurity. She is the only woman known to have made a contribution to the demonstration of Fermat’s Last Theorem.

Dora Musielak has accomplished the unachievable in this one-of-a-kind biography of Sophie Germain by chronicling the mathematical prowess of Germain’s life and work in an informative, all-encompassing manner and accurate all at the same time. Germain’s brilliance has been chronicled through both her life and her work in mathematics.”