Sofia Kovalevskaya

1850 - 1891

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Sofya Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya (Russian: Софья Васильевна Ковалевская), born Korvin-Krukovskaya (15 January [O.S. 3 January] 1850 – 10 February 1891), was a Russian mathematician who made noteworthy contributions to analysis, partial differential equations and mechanics. She was a pioneer for women in mathematics around the world – the first woman to obtain a doctorate (in the modern sense) in mathematics, the first woman appointed to a full professorship in northern Europe and one of the first women to work for a scientific journal as an editor. According to historian of science Ann Hibner Koblitz, Kovalevskaya was "the greatest known woman scientist before the twentieth century".: 255 Historian of mathematics Roger Cooke writes: ... Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Sofia Kovalevskaya has received more than 367,568 page views. Her biography is available in 71 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 62 in 2019). Sofia Kovalevskaya is the 46th most popular mathematician (up from 51st in 2019), the 99th most popular biography from Russia (up from 100th in 2019) and the 3rd most popular Russian Mathematician.

Sofia Kovalevskaya is most famous for being the first woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics. She was born in 1849 and received her degree from the University of Stockholm in 1874.

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Among mathematicians, Sofia Kovalevskaya ranks 46 out of 828Before her are Emmy Noether, George Boole, Eudoxus of Cnidus, Johann Bernoulli, Apollonius of Perga, and Archytas. After her are Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Norbert Wiener, Sophie Germain, Brahmagupta, and Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia.

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Among people born in 1850, Sofia Kovalevskaya ranks 7Before her are Jack the Ripper, Guy de Maupassant, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edward Smith, Karl Ferdinand Braun, and Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. After her are Eduard Bernstein, Hermann Ebbinghaus, Charles Richet, Mihai Eminescu, Pierre Loti, and Henry Louis Le Chatelier. Among people deceased in 1891, Sofia Kovalevskaya ranks 7Before her are Arthur Rimbaud, Nikolaus Otto, Georges Seurat, Herman Melville, Helena Blavatsky, and Helmuth von Moltke the Elder. After her are Léo Delibes, Wilhelm Eduard Weber, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, Pedro II of Brazil, Theo van Gogh, and P. T. Barnum.

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In Russia

Among people born in Russia, Sofia Kovalevskaya ranks 99 out of 2,688Before her are Nikolai Yezhov (1895), Alexander Kerensky (1881), Mikhail Bakhtin (1895), Mikhail Lomonosov (1711), Boris Spassky (1937), and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857). After her are Ivan VI of Russia (1740), Nikolai Bukharin (1888), Alexander Alekhine (1892), Mikhail Lermontov (1814), Shamil, 3rd Imam of Dagestan (1797), and Ivan V of Russia (1666).


Among mathematicians born in Russia, Sofia Kovalevskaya ranks 3Before her are David Hilbert (1862) and Georg Cantor (1845). After her are Nikolai Lobachevsky (1792), Andrey Kolmogorov (1903), Christian Goldbach (1690), Alexander Friedmann (1888), Leonid Kantorovich (1912), Grigori Perelman (1966), Aleksandr Lyapunov (1857), Andrey Markov (1856), and Igor Ansoff (1918).