The Courage of Somerville

Mary SomervilleBorn in 1780 at Burntisland, Scotland, Mary Somerville was one of the world’s first famous female mathematicians. She has done a lot of work in the field of mathematics but her Major contributions were in the areas of algebra and calculus. She was interested in mathematics, and wanted to study it in any condition. At that period of time women were not allowed to study.  She was desperate to learn mathematics so she bought books on algebra and geometry. She used to read these books in the night. Despite of all these problems and lack of support, she never stopped.

Much of the popularity of her writings was due to her clear and crisp style and the underlying enthusiasm for her subject which pervaded them. Mary Somerville published her first paper, "The magnetic properties of the violet rays of the solar spectrum", in 1826. Later in her life she started to solve problems in magazines and journels on topics such as algebra and calculus, and won prize for her solutions. She had published many books about maths and science as well. She used an approach to her work that is quite useful these days too. If she couldn’t find the solution to a difficult problem she stopped working on that problem and start doing other works such as playing piano. She did this to refresh her mind and to find the solution to problem. according to her this method of working is more efficient and less time consuming. She died at Naples on 29 November 1872, but she will always be remembered due to her work and the motivation she provides to the youngsters.