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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 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 761,301 page views. Her biography is available in 56 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 51 in 2019). Sophie Germain is the 46th most popular mathematician (up from 50th in 2019), the 322nd most popular biography from France (up from 348th 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.

Memorability Metrics

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    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 56

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 9.24

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.99

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among mathematicians, Sophie Germain ranks 46 out of 823Before her are Apollonius of Perga, Archytas, Johann Bernoulli, Emmy Noether, Charles Sanders Peirce, and Eudoxus of Cnidus. After her are Claude Shannon, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Norbert Wiener, Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet, Philolaus, and Karl Weierstrass.

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Among people born in 1776, Sophie Germain ranks 4Before her are Amedeo Avogadro, E. T. A. Hoffmann, and Johann Friedrich Herbart. After her are John Constable, Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Caroline of Baden, Ioannis Kapodistrias, Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary, Şehzade Abdullah, Johann Wilhelm Ritter, and Jean-Pierre Boyer. 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, Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf, Emilia Plater, Achim von Arnim, Charles Felix of Sardinia, and Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

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In France

Among people born in France, Sophie Germain ranks 322 out of 6,011Before her are Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908), Françoise Sagan (1935), Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805), Carlo Buonaparte (1746), Guillaume de Machaut (1300), and Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707). After her are Paul Valéry (1871), Antonin Artaud (1896), Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau (1749), Denis Papin (1647), Marcel Marceau (1923), and Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor (1275).


Among mathematicians born in France, Sophie Germain ranks 11Before her are Jean le Rond d'Alembert (1717), Joseph Fourier (1768), Évariste Galois (1811), Pope Sylvester II (938), François Viète (1540), and Augustin-Louis Cauchy (1789). After her are Gaspard Monge (1746), Abraham de Moivre (1667), Marin Mersenne (1588), Urbain Le Verrier (1811), Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728), and Adrien-Marie Legendre (1752).