She was a mathematician in the first half of the 20th century, receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Erlangen in 1907. She resolved a nagging puzzle in Einstein's theory of gravity. In thep rocess she proved a revolutionary mathematical theorem that changed the ways scientists study the universe. (See Science News June 23, 2018 for more information. Her work in group theory, ring theory, group representations and number theory was fundamental to further mathematical principles and would prove useful to physicists and crystallographers. Noether's Theorem (done in 1918) is named for her. She is known for her work in ideal theory and non-associative algebras. Denied recognition for her work most of her life, in 1932 she received the Alfred Ackermann-Teubner Memorial Prize for the Advancement of Mathematical Sciences.
Early in her career she was not permitted to hold a paid position, so she taught for no pay so that she could use the university facilities for her work. For a short time, she even had to teach under the name of David Hilbert, whom she worked with at Gottingen University.She did not receive a salary until 1923. The Nazi government forced the Jewish Noether out of her job and she moved to the United States to take a guest professorship at Bryn Mawr. She lived for less than two more years when she died from complications from surgery. At her death Einstein volunteered to write her obituary:
In the judgement of the most competent living mathematicians, Fraulein Noether was the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began. In the realm of algebra in which the most gifted mathematicians have been busy for centuries she discovered methods which have proved of enormous importance in the development of present day younger generation of mathematicians.
More information may be found at
the Association for Women in Mathematics and
the San Diego Super Computer Center
And look for more information about Noether's Theorem.
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with thanks to:
Tony Mann, Head of Department, Mathematical Sciences, School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, The University of Greenwich, for additional comments.