NOETHER


NOETHER, family of mathematicians in Germany. MAX NOETHER (1844–1921), born in Erlangen, was professor of mathematics for nearly 50 years. He made important contributions to geometry and was the foremost authority of the algebraic-geometric school in Germany. He wrote many papers on the geometry of hyperspace, Abelian and Theta functions. His son FRITZ NOETHER (1884–1941) became professor of applied mathematics at the Technische Hochschule, Breslau. EMMY (AMALIE) NOETHER (1882–1935), Max's daughter, was born and educated in Erlangen. She went to Goettingen in 1916, but because of the prevailing anti-feminine bias she was unable to obtain an official post. Conditions changed under the Weimar Republic and after much opposition she was appointed "unofficial extraordinary professor" in 1922. She derived an income from a lectureship in algebra. The advent of the Hitler regime forced her to emigrate to the U.S. where she was appointed professor at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. She was a pioneer in the general theory of ideas, and from 1926 onward initiated advances in non-commutative algebra. A creative mathematician of high caliber, her influence on contemporary mathematics cannot be judged solely by her published work, as she exerted great influence through her students and many of her ideas were developed by them.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Weyl, in: Scripta mathematica, 3 (1935), 201–20; Van der Waerden, in: Mathematische Annalen, 111 (1935), 469–76.

[Barry Spain]


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