women in technology

Hildegard of Bingen – More than the ‘Sybil of the Rhine’

Hildegard of Bingen – More than the ‘Sybil of the Rhine’

Although her exact birthdate is uncertain, we want to dedicate today’s article to an extraordinary woman in science: German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath St Hildegard von Bingen. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as “Sybil of the Rhine“, produced major works of theology and visionary writings. She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing, and wrote treatises about natural history and…
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A great man whose only fault was being a woman – Émilie du Châtelet

A great man whose only fault was being a woman – Émilie du Châtelet

Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749) On December 17, 1706, French mathematician, physicist, and author Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet was born. Her major achievement is considered to be her translation and commentary on Isaac Newton‘s work Principia Mathematica, which still is the standard French translation of Newton‘s work today. Philosopher and author Voltaire, one of her lovers, once declared in a letter to his friend King Frederick II of…
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Hypatia – the first Woman in Mathematics

Hypatia – the first Woman in Mathematics

Hypatia of Alexandria The Neoplatonian philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, Egypt, was the first well-documented woman in mathematics. Her actual date of birth is unknown, although considered somewhen between 350 and 370 AD. She was the head of the Platonist school at Alexandria and additionally taught philosophy and astronomy. Hypatia was taught in mathematics and astronomy by her father, who was well known for his studies at the Alexandrian School. It is unknown,…
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Freedom within Limits – the Education Principles of Maria Montessori

Freedom within Limits – the Education Principles of Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori(1870 – 1952) On August 31, 1870, Italian physician and educator Maria Tecla Artemesia Montessori was born. She is probably best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. Her educational method is in use today in public and private schools throughout the world. Maria Montessori was pretty well educated herself and mostly supported by her mother to continue school. She entered a…
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Road Trippin’ with Alice Ramsey

Road Trippin’ with Alice Ramsey

Alice Ramsey(1886 – 1983)Image: Library of Congress On August 7, 1909, Alice Ramsey together with her companions reached San Francisco, successfully finishing the first crossing of the USA with an automobile by a woman. She arrived at San Francisco 60 days after her start in New York. The journey began on June 9, 1909 in New York City. The four women got ready for a last photo shoot and kissed their husbands…
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Jeanne Baret – An Intrepid Woman of Discovery

Jeanne Baret – An Intrepid Woman of Discovery

Jeanne Baret (1740 – 1807) On July 27, 1740, French natural scientist Jeanne Baret was born. She was probably the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, but with certainty she was the first woman who achieved this disguised as a man. Jeanne Baret grew up in a very poor region of France with rather uneducated people. It is assumed that her father has been illiterate in contrast to Jeanne. However, it is…
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Elena Cornaro Piscopia, PhD

Elena Cornaro Piscopia, PhD

Elena Cornaro Piscopia (1646 – 1684) On June 25, 1678, Venetian philosopher of noble descent Elena Cornaro Piscopia, was the first woman to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Elena Cornaro Piscopia‘s intellectual ability was noticed early, wherefore the local priest encouraged her family to enable Piscopia a formal education. She was then taught Latin, Greek, and Arabic starting at the age of seven. Later on, she also began learning mathematics, philosophy, theology,…
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Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Discovery of Pulsars

Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Discovery of Pulsars

A composite image of the Crab Nebula showing the X-ray (blue), and optical (red) images superimposed. On November 28, 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Anthony Hewish discovered the first Pulsar, a fast rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The radiation of a pulsar can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing toward the Earth, much the way a lighthouse can only be seen when the…
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Ada Lovelace – The World’s Very First Programmer

Ada Lovelace – The World’s Very First Programmer

Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) Portrait by Margaret Sarah Carpenter On November 27, 1852, Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, who is considered to be the world’s very first programmer, passed away. Every student of computer science should have heart of the world’s first programmer, Ada Countess of Lovelace, assistant to Charles Babbage, inventor of the very first programmable (mechanical) computer, the analytical engine. Allthough probably not widely known to the general…
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