A snapshot biography of Emmy Noether

Emmy Noether
Emmy Noether

What will our soldiers think when they return to the university and find that they are required to learn at the feet of a woman?

Such was the response of a faculty member at the idea of Emmy Noether joining the University of Göttingen to teach mathematics in 1915. So instead of receiving the title she deserved, Emmy spent years teaching courses often under the name of a male faculty member. It was his course, she was an assistant, was the official structure. And she wasn’t paid for her work. Her family financially supported her. In 1919 she was given permission to teach officially and she began receiving a small salary in 1922.

As a teacher, Emmy was known to speak loud and fast, for being generous, thoughtful. She cared deeply for her students, without vanity nor ego, promoting them and their work over anything else. Her students in turn followed her “as if following the Pied Piper.” And while Emmy excelled as a teacher, she also made numerous significant contributions to research in mathematics and physics.

Note: If you enjoyed this snapshot biography of Emmy Noether, please consider supporting Historical Snapshots with a donation. To donate, please visit our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/historicalsnapshots. Your support is much appreciated ❤

“A snapshot biography of Emmy Noether” sources: Kimberling, Clark (March 1982). “Emmy Noether, Greatest Woman Mathematician” (PDF). Mathematics Teacher. Reston, Virginia: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 84 (3): 246–249 / Kimberling, Clark (1981), “Emmy Noether and Her Influence”, in Brewer, James W.; Smith, Martha K. (eds.), Emmy Noether: A tribute to her life and work, New York: Marcel Dekker, pp. 3–61 / https://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/noether.html / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmy_Noether / Photo – Professor Emiliana P. Noether, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia, Biographies of Women Mathemeticians, website & Emmy Noether, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art – Brooklyn Museum