Sophie Germain

1776 - 1831

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Marie-Sophie Germain (French: [maʁi sɔfi ʒɛʁmɛ̃]; 1 April 1776 – 27 June 1831) was a French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. Despite initial opposition from her parents and difficulties presented by society, she gained education from books in her father's library, including ones by Leonhard Euler, and from correspondence with famous mathematicians such as Lagrange, Legendre, and Gauss (under the pseudonym of «Monsieur LeBlanc»). One of the pioneers of elasticity theory, she won the grand prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences for her essay on the subject. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Sophie Germain has received more than 590,251 page views. Her biography is available in 51 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 48 in 2019). Sophie Germain is the 50th most popular mathematician (up from 61st in 2019), the 349th most popular biography from France (up from 396th in 2019) and the 11th most popular French Mathematician.

Sophie Germain is most famous for her work in number theory. She is the first woman to be awarded a prize from the French Academy of Sciences and the first woman to be elected to the French Academy of Sciences.

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Among mathematicians, Sophie Germain ranks 50 out of 828Before her are Apollonius of Perga, Archytas, Sofia Kovalevskaya, Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, and Norbert Wiener. After her are Brahmagupta, Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia, Simon Stevin, Philolaus, Ludolph van Ceulen, and Nikolai Lobachevsky.

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Among people born in 1776, Sophie Germain ranks 4Before her are E. T. A. Hoffmann, Amedeo Avogadro, and Johann Friedrich Herbart. After her are John Constable, Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Caroline of Baden, Ioannis Kapodistrias, Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary, Johann Wilhelm Ritter, Pehr Henrik Ling, and Barthold Georg Niebuhr. Among people deceased in 1831, Sophie Germain ranks 4Before her are Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Carl von Clausewitz, and James Monroe. After her are Napoléon Louis Bonaparte, Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich of Russia, Ioannis Kapodistrias, Achim von Arnim, Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf, Emilia Plater, Charles Felix of Sardinia, and August Neidhardt von Gneisenau.

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In France

Among people born in France, Sophie Germain ranks 349 out of 5,234Before her are Jean Buridan (1295), Jean Gabin (1904), Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633), Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1900), Ernest Renan (1823), and Michel Platini (1955). After her are Elisabeth of France (1602), Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752), Nicolas Appert (1749), Jean Fouquet (1420), Jules Rimet (1873), and François Mauriac (1885).


Among mathematicians born in France, Sophie Germain ranks 11Before her are Jean le Rond d'Alembert (1717), François Viète (1540), Évariste Galois (1811), Henri Poincaré (1854), Pope Sylvester II (938), and Augustin-Louis Cauchy (1789). After her are Marin Mersenne (1588), Abraham de Moivre (1667), Urbain Le Verrier (1811), Émilie du Châtelet (1706), Gaspard Monge (1746), and Siméon Denis Poisson (1781).