K is for Sofia Kovalevskaya – Mathematics
++ A to Z of Notable Women in STEM ++
Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850 – 1891) was responsible for original contributions in analysis, partial differential equations, and mechanics.
Sofia showed great aptitude for mathematics early on, but could not study math in her home of Russia because universities would not accept women. In order to leave Russia, she got into a sham marriage with a young geology student, Vladimir Kovalevskij, who later became famous for his collaborations with Charles Darwin. In 1867, Sofia and Vladimir emigrated to Germany.
In 1874, Sofia became the first woman in Europe to hold a Ph.D. in mathematics. In 1883 she was offered a professorship at Stockholm University. Within six months of taking the position, she was promoted to full professor and became an editor for the journal Acta Mathematica.
She died way too early due to pneumonia at the age of 41.
Add your own “K”-named women to the list in the comments below! Here are some others have suggested:
Irene Joliot-Curie – Chemistry – Radioactivity