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â Say What You Know, Do What You Must, Come What Mayâ : Women Mathematicians of Three Centuries Barred from Universities Gerofsky, Susan


Abstract: This talk will focus on Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799), Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891), Emmy Noether (1882-1935). I will highlight the important mathematical research work carried out by these women despite being barred from official recognition (and pay) by their universities, enduring mockery for being female, and often being confined to their bedrooms as working spaces, where they literally papered the walls and filled shoeboxes under the bed with their work. The questions are about claiming space -- physical and social, public and private, domestic and professional -- as women in mathematics.

Along with the life and work of these three mathematicians, I will also consider the process of researching and expressing that history to a broader audience via the arts. I am currently writing a mathematics history play about Agnesi, Kovelevskaya and Noether. The talk will include excerpts from the play, and open up to questions about taking space and articulating suppressed histories.

About the speaker: Susan Gerofsky brings experience in a number of fields to bear in an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to mathematics education and curriculum theory. Her research is in embodied, multi sensory, multimodal mathematics education through the arts, movement, gesture and voice. She also works in environmental garden-based education, the language and genres of mathematics education, and media theory. She holds degrees in languages and linguistics as well as mathematics education, and worked for years in film production, adult education, and as a high school teacher.

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