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Fields Medal mathematics prize won by woman - first time in its history

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 36,687 mod
A woman has won the world's most prestigious mathematics prize for the first time since the award was established nearly 80 years ago.



  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,977 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, I have heard of it, @mheredge. :)
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited August 2014
    Yes, an Iranian mathematician, Maryam Mirzakhani , the first woman in the world, to be awarded the Fields Medal. The award is widely seen as mathematics' equivalent to the Nobel Prize.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,687 mod
    She's done very well. I guess mathematics must be pretty male dominated if it's taken so long for a woman to win this prize.
  • pryfllwydpryfllwyd The AnthropocenePosts: 1,405
    Shame that the British press are only reporting that she is female - its very hard to find anyone talking about the math - in my opinion that is what is remarkable here.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,687 mod
    I suppose a lot of people switch off if you start to talk about math. Myself included I'm afraid @pryfllwyd‌.
  • pryfllwydpryfllwyd The AnthropocenePosts: 1,405
    Thats a pity @mheredge - that way the headlines will always be "woman did this" / "woman did that" when in fact gender has nothing to do with it.
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,977 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is not only the headlines, @pryfllwyd. Also many books about early modern female scientists. :( I find it annoying.
  • pryfllwydpryfllwyd The AnthropocenePosts: 1,405
    Actually the papers just want a reaction - annoying people works as well as pleasing them - ignoring them is much more effective in the long run.
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,977 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I guess it is also a useful niche. You can concentrate on the question how a woman did what she did instead of going into e.g. mathematical details.

    This is a good example I think: http://books.google.pl/books?id=Ah2LMcR-LLQC&pg=PA324&dq=du+chatelet+woman&hl=pl&sa=X&ei=ZE3uU_GrH-SR7Ab84YHIDQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=woman&f=false
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,977 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2014

    Here you have an example of devastating results of the approach 'woman did this':

    Ruth Hagengruber in: 'Emilie du Châtelet between Leibniz and Newton'

    'Leibniz conceived of force as energy in motion - as kinetic energy - and measured it as mv^2.
    Descartes and followingly Newton agreed, measured force as mv [sic!]. With his view, Leibniz succeeded in characterizing the movement of mass in scalary measurements, which in turn interpreted the force of motion in bodies as partaking in the general conservation of energy.'

    Well...... Just to sum up:

    1.Descartes: m*|v| - his concept of 'determinatio' - direction was logical and not mathematical so the quantity of movement in 'Principia philosophiae' is scalar.
    2.Newton: the change of m*v = m*a
    3.Leibniz knew very well that momentum is conserved too (cf. Huygens)
  • XanthippeXanthippe Posts: 1,977 ✭✭✭✭✭
    She wrote 'mv2' by the way but I know she means the square. I am not so prickly. :)
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,942 mod
    You mean m^2? :)
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