women in technology

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,…
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,…
Aviatrix Wilhelmine Reichard

Aviatrix Wilhelmine Reichard

The portrait of Wilhelmine Reichard (1788—1848), German balloonist On April 16, 1811, Wilhelmine Reichard launched to her first solo flight in a gas balloon, thus becoming Germany`s very first female balloonist. You might remember that in 1783 the brothers Montgolfier already launched the very first balloon, as we reported in our recent blog post ‘More than just Hot Air…‘. Actually, the first passengers were a sheep, a rooster, and a…
Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

Illuminated Copper-engraving from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium by Maria Sibylla Merian On April 2, 1647, the German naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian was born. Even though she is not very well known for her achievements, she made significant contributions to entomology through the observation and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly. The fact that Maria Sibylla Merian is not well known throughout the scientific community is probably caused…
Emmy Noether and the Love for Mathematics

Emmy Noether and the Love for Mathematics

Emmy Noether (1882 – 1935) On April 23, 1882, German mathematician and physicist Emmy Noether was born, who is best known for her groundbreaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. Albert Einstein called her the most important woman in the history of mathematics, as she revolutionized the theories of rings, fields, and algebras. In 1900, Emmy Noether decided to enroll at the University of Erlangen, but as one of…
Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

Amelia Earhart (1897 – ca. 1939)picture via Focus Online On January 11, 1935, US-american aviatrix Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California accross the Pacific ocean. The first contact Earhart made with aviation was when she was 10-years old and visiting a plane state fair, but she was not quite impressed. A few years later, she visited a stunt-flying exhibition and after…
Caroline Herschel – The Comet Sweeper

Caroline Herschel – The Comet Sweeper

Caroline Herschel(1750 – 1848) On January 9, 1848, Caroline Lucretia Herschel, German-British astronomer and sister of astronomer Sir William Herschel, passed away at age 98. She is best know for the discovery of several comets, in particular the periodic comet 35P/Herschel-Rigollet, which bears her name. Caroline Herschel grew up in the German town Hannover where she worked at her parent’s home as a housekeeper and received a musical education followed…
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…
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…
Hedy Lamarr – a Hollywood Star Invents Secure Communication Technology

Hedy Lamarr – a Hollywood Star Invents Secure Communication Technology

Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000) On November 9, 1913, Hollywood movie star Hedy Lamar was born, co-inventor of an early form of the spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day. Ok, I assume that you are not necessarely familiar with spread spectrum communications technology. But, maybe you are wondering even more about a Hollywood movie star diva, who should be responsible…
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