Biographies

Emmy Noether

Amalie Emmy Noether was born in Germany on March 23, 1882. She taught at the University of Göttingen until the Nazi regime dismissed all Jewish professors. Noether then moved to Bryn Mawr College in the U.S. Her groundbreaking work in abstract algebra and theoretical physics led to concepts like “Noether’s Theorem,” “Noetherian rings,” and “Noetherian induction.”

Quick facts

FULL NAME :  Amalie Emmy Noether

FAMOUS AS :  Mathematician

NATIONALITY : German

BORN ON : March 23, 1882

BIRTHDAY : 15th October

DIED AT AGE : 53

SUN SIGN : Aries

PLACE OF BIRTH : Erlangen, Germany

DIED ON : April 14, 1935

PLACE OF DEATH : Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S.


Major Works

Noether published several papers while she was working at the Mathematical Institute of Erlangen. She began her research on theoretical algebra and collaborated with Algebraist, Ernst Otto Fischer, for her works. She also teamed with Felix Klein and David Hilbert to work on Einstein’s general relativity theory.

Early Life and Carrier

Amalie Emmy Noether was born on March 23, 1882 in Bavaria Germany. She was the daughter of Max Noether, a mathematics professor. She was not allowed to attend regular college preparatory schools and hence, she attended a ‘finishing school’. She specialized in French and English. Young Noether loved to cook and played the clavier as well.

Education

Noether graduated from Höhere Töchter Schule in Erlangen. In 1900, she passed the examinations of the State of Bavaria that certified her to teach English and French at schools for women. Soon after becoming a language teacher, Noether decided to pursue Mathematics, which was then considered as a challenging path for a woman. She took Mathematics classes for two years from the University of Erlangen after obtaining permission from the German professors. After passing the matriculation exam in Nürnberg in 1903, Noether joined the University of Göttingen. She attended lectures of leading mathematicians like Minkowski, Hilbert, Blumenthal and Klien. She then joined the University of Erlangen for her Doctorate degree and in 1907 she was awarded a Ph. D in Mathematics.

 Death

Noether had undergone surgery to remove a uterine tumor, but she died of a post-operative infection in 1935. She was fondly loved and respected by her students. The University of Erlangen honored her after World War II ended. A co-ed gymnasium, dedicated to Mathematics was named after her in Erlangen. Noether’s ashes were buried near the Bryn Mawr’s Library. Her legacy in the field of mathematics will always be remembered.


Noether’s Contributions

Noether’s work was divided into 3 epochs. The first epoch was between 1907-1919, in which she devoted her time in the field of algebraic invariant theory, Galois Theory and Physics. Noether proved two theorems that were important for elementary particle physics and general relativity. One of her theorems known as ‘Noether’s Theorem’ is one of the most significant contributions in the development of modern physics.

In the second epoch from 1920-1926, she concentrated on the theory of mathematical rings. She developed the abstract and conceptual approach to algebra, which resulted in several principles unifying topology, logic, geometry, algebra and linear algebra. Her works were a breakthrough in abstract algebra. Her study based on chain conditions on the ideals of commutative rings were honored by many mathematicians all over the world. Her paper ‘Idealtheorie in Ringbereichen’ or ‘Theory of Ideals in Ring Domains’, published 1921, became the foundation for commutative ring theory. The ‘Noetherian rings’ and ‘Noetherian ideals’ formed part of her mathematical contributions. Her insights and ideas in topology had a great impact in the field of Mathematics.

The third epoch began from 1927-1935, where non-commutative algebras, representation theory, hyper-complex numbers and linear transformations became the primary focus of her study. Noether was awarded the Ackermann-Teubner Memorial Prize in Mathematics in 1932.


Quotes and Sayings by Emmy Noether

It is very grand and sumptuous and awesome to look at but it was really about the characters for me.
I feel like I’ve come out of this grown up, maybe because I live through the character vicariously and she grows up so much during the course of this story.
Here we spent so much time together – eight months of our lives almost – and it was so great because we all got so close and that really made us not afraid to improve with each other.

Some Unknown Facts About Emmy Noether

  • Noether was born to a middle class Jewish family in Germany, the daughter of another notable mathematician, Max Noether.
  • She set out to become a language teacher with a focus on English and French, but while studying at the university where her father taught, she should great aptitude and interest in math.
  • After receiving her degree, Noether worked for almost a decade without pay at the Mathematical Institute of Erlangen due to the fact that women were typically prohibited from holding academic positions.
  • She was offered a position at the University of Gottingen, but the faculty of the philosophy department (which housed the mathematics studies) objected to a female lecturer.
  • She spent the next four years researching and teaching under the name of one of the men who invited her to the university, David Hilbert.
  • Noether became an important figure in the understanding of algebra, and even her contemporaries recognized her brilliance in proving theorems in the field.
  • Her contributions changed a number of long-held understandings in algebra, rings, and fields, and were crucial in physics, especially her theorem on the basic correlation between symmetry and conservation.
  • Noether’s work is divided into three epochs, each with major importance to various fields.
  • The first, which includes her work from 1907 to 1919, primarily involved differential and algebraic invariants, and her pivotal work in physics, her two Noether’s theorems.
  • The second epoch, developed between 1920 and 1926, involves her theory of mathematical rings.
  • In the third epoch, formed from 1927 to 1935, Noether focused on three distinct areas of mathematics: noncommutative algebra, linear transformations, and commutative number fields.
  • When the Nazis rose to power in Germany and issued decrees barring Jews from holding university positions, Noether moved to the US and took a position in the mathematics department at Bryn Mawr College.
  • One of Noether’s theorems has been called “one of the most important mathematical theorems ever proved in guiding the development of modern physics.”

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