Sophie Germain was a mathematician whose parents discouraged her from pursuing the sciences. Gauss’ work influenced her in number theory. When she made some discoveries on quadratic reciprocity, she wrote to Gauss about them under the disguise of a man (because she feared he would not accept her if he knew her gender). However, when she did reveal her identity, Gauss was impressed with her work and admired her even more because it would have been more challenging for a woman to succeed in sciences due to society’s prejudices.
Becca Hirsbrunner photographed this fabulously constructed Z proportions letter. Interestingly, every element but the diagonal bar can be rationalized.