Emmy Noether (1882-1935)
Emmy Noether was among the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century. Daughter of algebraist Max Noether, she studied at Erlangen, and then attended lectures by Hilbert, Klein, and Minkowski at Göttingen. Erlangen eventually allowed her, though a woman, to take her doctorate under Paul Gordan in 1907. In 1919 Hilbert and Klein persuaded Göttingen to grant her Habilitation. In 1924 van der Waerden studied with her; much of the second volume of his influential Moderne Algebra is her work. Her major achievements include the foundation of the general theory of ideals, and the study of non-commutative algebras, their representations by linear transformations, and their application to commutative algebras. She also contributed to invariant theory, and suggested constructing combinatorial topology through the theory of Abelian groups. Dismissed from Göttingen in 1933 because she was Jewish, she moved to the United States, where she taught at Bryn Mawr until the end of her life.
Image credit: Courtesy of Drs. Emiliana and Monica Noether.
This photo and biography was featured on MAA's Women of Mathematics poster.