Against All Odds

Women’s Ways to Mathematical Research Since 1800

  • Eva Kaufholz-Soldat
  • Nicola M.R. Oswald

Part of the Women in the History of Philosophy and Sciences book series (WHPS, volume 6)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Institutions

  3. Couples

  4. Approaches

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 177-183
    2. Marjorie Senechal
      Pages 231-248
    3. Lisbeth Fajstrup, Anne Katrine Gjerløff, Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen
      Pages 249-277
  5. Perspectives

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 315-319

About this book


This book presents an overview of the ways in which women have been able to conduct mathematical research since the 18th century, despite their general exclusion from the sciences. Grouped into four thematic sections, the authors concentrate on well-known figures like Sophie Germain and Grace Chisholm Young, as well as those who have remained unnoticed by historians so far. Among them are Stanisława Nidodym, the first female students at the universities in Prague at the turn of the 20th century, and the first female professors of mathematics in Denmark. Highlighting individual biographies, couples in science, the situation at specific European universities, and sociological factors influencing specific careers from the 18th century to the present, the authors trace female mathematicians’ status as it evolved from singular and anomalous to virtually commonplace.

The book also offers insights into the various obstacles women faced when trying to enter perhaps the “most male” discipline of all, and how some of them continue to shape young girls’ self-perceptions and career choices today. Thus, it will benefit scholars and students in STEM disciplines, gender studies and the history of science; women in science, mathematics and at institutions, and those working in mathematics education.


Socio-cultural Issues in STEM Felix Klein on Göttingen University Beginnings of Women Studying at Universities Sophie Germain on the École Polytechnique Gender Studies of Female Mathematicians in Present Day Gender Studies and the History of Science first known female mathematics professor

Editors and affiliations

  • Eva Kaufholz-Soldat
    • 1
  • Nicola M.R. Oswald
    • 2
  1. 1.Goethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainuGermany
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and InformaticsUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany

Bibliographic information