Skip to main content

General Sources for Biographies

On this page you will find some general sources for biographies of women mathematicians. Please let us know if you are aware of other good sources which might be included.

Agnes Scott College: Biographies of Women in Math

The Biographies of Women in Math pages are part of an ongoing project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. You will find biographical essays or comments on the women mathematicians profiled on this site, as well as additional resources about women in mathematics. Each time this page is reloaded, a randomly selected photo is displayed to the left (if Javascript is enabled). Click on the image to go to the profile of that woman.

Here is a geographic index (by location of birth).

The website also has a wonderful bibliography section which currently lists over 450 articles and books about women in mathematics, many of them biographies of individual women.

This webpage has been created by Larry Riddle of the college.

Algumas Mulheres da História da Matemática

by João Batista do Nascimento (2013)

Article  entitled “Some women from the history of mathematics” (Portuguese).

Black Women in Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences

Webpages brought to you by The Mathematics Department of The State University of New York at Buffalo, created and maintained by Prof Scott W. Williams Professor of Mathematics of SUNYB.

British Women Mathematicians, 200 years of history

A talk by Caroline Series (1996) about the lives of some British women mathematicians.

Ciencia EX AEQUO

An exhibition of paintings about women scientists. The source of inspiration was the scientific theme each of these women worked on. They are represented on 12 canvas 1x1m together with a brief explanation about the subject and the scientist in question. See also here.

Davis Archive

This archive contains details of the approximately 2500 women who graduated in mathematics from universities in Britain and Ireland before 1940. It is also part of the St Andrews site.

MacTutor list of female mathematicians

Oregon Women in Math Project

Here is a list of biographies of female mathematical scientists, part of the University of Oregon Women in Math Project.

Pioneer Women in Chaos Theory

Article by Frank Wang, arxiv 2009.

“The general public has been made aware of the research field of “chaos” by the book of that title by James Gleick. This paper will focus on the achievements of Sonya Kovalevskaya, Mary Cartwright, and Mary Tsingou, whose pioneer works were not mentioned in Gleick’s book.”

The Philippa Fawcett Collection

This is a wide-ranging library of books written by and about women who studied or worked in mathematical subjects in the nineteenth and first part of the twentieth century, or earlier. It is held in the library of the London Mathematical Society. It is named in honour of Philippa Fawcett, who in 1890 came top in the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge. Since  women could not be ranked alongside men, Fawcett was described as ‘above the Senior Wrangler’.

Wikipedia pages on Women Mathematicians

This is another good source of information, if rather random in the women who are featured.

Women of Mathematics. A Biobibliographic Sourcebook

Edited by Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell
Greenwood press, 1987
“This collection includes biographic sketches and bibliographies of 43 women mathematicians ranging from Hypatia (370-415) to Grace Murray Hopper (1906-).  ….A major contribution to the history of mathematics and of women.”

Women of Mathematics: A Gallery of Portraits

The exhibition, opening July 2016, offers a glimpse into the world of mathematics through photographs (by Noel Tovia Matoff) and excerpts of interviews (by Sylvie Paycha and Sara Azzali) of thirteen women mathematicians throughout Europe. The website provides a platform for contact, exchange and mutual assistance.

Women in Science

European commission, 2009

This e-audio- book contains accounts of the lives of many female scientists.

Women in Science: A selection of 16 Significant Contributors

Presented by the San Diego Supercomputer (1997). A pdf version is available through the link. This book contains an excellent biobliography for further reading.

Women Philosophers and Scientists

A forthcoming book series published by Springer (2017). The history of women’s contributions to philosophy and the sciences dates back to the very beginnings of these disciplines. The Springer Series Women Philosophers and Scientists provide a platform for scholarship and research on these distinctive topics.

Women Scientists in the Americas

(for low resolution version see here.)

The inspiring stories of prominent women scientists from across the Americas. A publication of IANAS, the Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (2013).