In honor of Women’s History Month, we celebrate the life and work of Hypatia – a mathematician, educator, philosopher, and astronomer who lived in Alexandria during the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.
She has become an enduring figure of women in science throughout the ages, due in large part to her accomplishments as well as her tragic death. Read more about her on Wikipedia.
She is the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well recorded. Hypatia was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor. She is known to have written a commentary on Diophantus’s thirteen-volume Arithmetica, which may survive in part, having been interpolated into Diophantus’s original text, and another commentary on Apollonius of Perga’s treatise on conic sections, which has not survived. Many modern scholars also believe that Hypatia may have edited the surviving text of Ptolemy’s Almagest, based on the title of her father Theon’s commentary on Book III of the Almagest.
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