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52 Women Who Changed Science and the World

Women continue to add value to every aspect of life with their magic touch. While millions of women giving life to society with their productivity, for everyone who does not forget that Women's Day not a single day but everyday:

This platform; prepares a gratitude e-letter to everyone who transforms their magic touches to infinite love. Now, its time to thank who adds value to our life with their existence!

Today, I feel like an individual who stands strong, just like any other day of the year.

Because I have people around me that make me feel precious and special. First and foremost;

I wish with all my heart to have people like them in my whole life.
Today, I feel like an individual who stands strong, just like any other day of the year.

Because I have people around me that make me feel precious and special. First and foremost;

I wish with all my heart to have people like them all the time in our lives.

's note:
Thank you KUP for this
special book and cooperation.

Engineers had been thinking about the communication problem for decades, but they hadn’t yet uncovered a solution that was enemy-proof. Although radio could offer a connection between sub and torpedo, the technology had an oversharing problem. Once a station was established, enemies could easily gum it up, jam it, or listen to the signal. The line was too public. What soldiers needed was a way to talk to their weapons without the enemy overhearing the instructions. An anti-jamming technique had been floated in 1898 by a US Navy engineer, but his solution—transmitting over higher and higher frequencies—wouldn’t have lasted long as opposing forces one-upped each other for higher and higher real estate. Lamarr, however, had another idea about how to secure a safe and clear connection. Since setting a single frequency left the communication vulnerable, she thought that a coordinated effort where both the sender and the receiver hopped frequencies in a pattern would confound anyone trying to listen in. The idea was similar to two pianos playing in unison.

Helping her to advance the idea was Lamarr’s friend George Antheil, a composer who put together movie scores to help support his more experimental work. Antheil was famous for a piece he produced in Paris in 1926 called Le Ballet Mécanique. Although humans ended up playing the parts, the work called for automated player pianos to perform in sync. Lamarr, also an accomplished pianist, sometimes played recreationally with Antheil. The duo would play a game sort of like chase across the keys. One person would start playing a tune, and the other would have to catch the song and play alongside. According to her son, this synchronized musical discourse gave the inventor her idea for outsmarting the Axis opponents. Antheil, who had already put quite a lot of thought into how to synchronize machines and who had, at one point, been a US munitions inspector, was the perfect partner to help Lamarr implement her idea.

Over countless hours on the phone, in the evenings, and spread out with matchsticks and other knickknacks on Lamarr’s living room rug, the pair nailed down the basics for their frequency-hopping invention. They applied for a patent in June 1941.

More concerned about the war than monetization, Lamarr and Antheil also sent their ambitious plans to Washington, DC, for review from the National Inventors Council. The positive feedback was swift. In a special to the New York Times, the council leaked its approval. The article began, “Hedy Lamarr, screen actress, was revealed today in a new role, that of an inventor. So vital is her discovery to national defense that government officials will not allow publication of its details.” The idea was classified “red hot” by the council’s engineer.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor changed the perception of the project. With the tragedy came many revelations about the sorry state of the United States’ existing torpedoes. At this point, the navy decided that they had neither the bandwidth nor the interest to test another system. Lamarr and Antheil secured the patent but lost out on a government contract. Lamarr’s patent was classified and filed away, its inventors’ chances for realworld deployment left in the dusty back pockets of a government cabinet.

It wasn’t until two decades later that the idea resurfaced, wrapped into a new frequency-hopping communication technology (later called spread-spectrum). Even then, the idea didn’t go public until 1976—thirty-five years after Lamarr patented it.

As it turned out, the technology had broader uses than just missiles. Lamarr’s idea paved the way for a myriad of technologies, including wireless cash registers, bar code readers, and home control systems, to name a few. While she had a long career as a celebrated actress, Lamarr finally got the full recognition she deserved when she was awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 1997. Her response: “It’s about time.”

SOPHIE KOWALEVSKI BELIEVED IT WAS A MISTAKE OF THE UNINformed to confuse mathematics with arithmetic. Arithmetic was just a pile of “dry and arid” numbers to be multiplied and divided. Mathematics was a world of elegant possibilities that “demand[ed] the utmost imagination.” To engage in mathematics fully was to elevate it to an art not unlike poetry. “The poet must see more deeply than other people, and the mathematician must do the same.

”Looking deeply into the numbers was a skill she acquired at a very young age. When Kowalevski was a child, her father, who had recently retired from Russian military service, moved the family to a rural estate near the Lithuanian border. It was a large home next to a forest and on a lake, far from any big cities. They ordered wallpaper from St. Petersburg to freshen up the home’s interior, but when the paper arrived, it became clear that there had been a miscalculation. The nursery was left bare. Instead of going through the hassle of ordering more, Kowalevski’s father fashioned an inexpensive, DIY solution. He had the room papered with the lithographed lectures on differential and integral calculus from a course he’d taken as a young officer. If there is an event that catalyzes the imagination, sending us, for the rest of our lives, restlessly after our passions, for Kowalevski, this was it. Her governess could not tear the girl away from the equation-layered room. “I would stand by the wall for hours on end, reading and rereading what was written there.” She was too young to understand its meaning, but age didn’t stop her from trying.

For the majority of her childhood, Kowalevski’s education did not keep pace with her curiosity. Her father wasn’t keen on the idea of “learned women.” Consequently, her formal instruction was spotty. “I was in a chronic state of book hunger,” she wrote in her autobiography. Kowalevski would sneak into her family’s library to consume the forbidden foreign novels and Russian periodicals heaped on the room’s tables and couches. “And here, suddenly at my fingertips—su ch treasure! How could anyone not be tempted.”

When her uncles visited, she probed them for stories about math and science. Through them, she learned how a coral reef was formed, how mathematical asymptotes would never kiss the curve leaning toward them, and about the Greek problem of how to square a circle. “The meaning of these concepts I naturally could not yet grasp, but they acted on my imagination, instilling in me a reverence for mathematics as an exalted and mysterious science which opens up to its initiates a new world of wonders, inaccessible to ordinary mortals.”Kowalevski whipped through a borrowed algebra book, ducking the attention of her governess while she studied. When a neighbor, a physics professor, dropped off a textbook he’d written, as a gift for her father, the volume mysteriously ended up in his daughter’s possession. The next time the professor visited the house, Kowalevski engaged him in conversation about optics—not the simplest task. The professor was reluctant to talk to her about something that she couldn’t possibly understand. She was young—at this point in her teens—and a woman. But Kowalevski’s explanation of sine changed his mind.Because she was mostly selfta ught, Kowalevski’s education had gaps. The chapter on optics, for instance, gave her trouble because she lacked a foundation in trigonometry that would have explained the function of sine. And sine was all over the place! So she began experimenting with its meaning, ferreting out an answer through trial and error. When she laid out her conclusion for the professor, his jaw hit the floor. She had pioneered her way to sine’s meaning via the same route that mathematicians had taken historically.

The professor appealed to her father, comparing Kowalevski’s considerable abilities to the famous French mathematician Pascal. She needed advanced academic training, stat.

Her father finally gave in. Kowalevski’s opportunities in Russia, however, had a well-established ceiling. Her only chances for greater professional development were abroad. But how to get there? Unmarried, she was stuck at home, subject to her father’s rules. Married, she would be forced to conform to her husband’s life in Russia. To Kowalevski and her older sister Anyuta, neither option was viable. Kowalevski opted for a third, more unconventional option. She entered into a sham marriage.

Her husband, Vladimir Kowalevski, was part of a radical political group fighting for equal education for women. When Sophie married Vladimir at age eighteen, both she and her sister were free to leave Russia thanks to their new legally bound but platonic chaperone.

Kowalevski’s first stop was Heidelberg, Germany. (Her husband went elsewhere to study geology.) But when she arrived, Kowalevski found that women were barred from university enrollment. The young mathematician, though, was practiced at using her insight as a tool to change reluctant minds. Kowalevski soon gained approval to attend lectures unofficially. One classmate, Yulya Lermontova, who became the first Russian woman to earn a doctorate in chemistry, remembered the impression Kowalevski made on the place. “Sofya immediately attracted the attention of her teachers with her uncommon mathematical ability. Professors were ecstatic over their gifted student and spoke about her as an extraordinary phenomenon. Talk of the amazing Russian woman spread through the little town, so that people would often stop in the street to stare at her.”

Next, Kowalevski traveled to Berlin, where she convinced a mathematician she greatly admired, named Karl Weierstrass, to teach her privately. (The University of Berlin, where Weierstrass taught, had an even stricter ban on women.) He was no supporter of the other sex in academics, but Kowalevski’s abilities and passion for the subject quickly earned her a place as his star student and later a trusted peer.

She wanted a doctorate in mathematics, so Weierstrass facilitated one from the University of Göttingen—a university that would grant higher degrees to women—without Kowalevski having to attend class or exams. From Berlin, Kowalevski became the first woman in Europe to earn a PhD in mathematics. Most doctoral students opted to write one dissertation; Kowalevski assembled three: two in pure mathematics and one in astronomy.Meanwhile, Kowalevski’s sham marriage morphed into a real one. In 1875, she returned with her husband to Russia, putting mathematics aside. Weierstrass begged Kowalevski to come back to Europe and her studies. With so much distance between them, she stopped returning her advisor’s letters.

Six years after she left Berlin, having accrued several failed real estate ventures and a strained marriage, Kowalevski returned to Germany alone. Her work resumed immediately. Kowalevski published groundbreaking papers on the refraction of light in crystals and on “the reduction of a certain class of Anelian functions to elliptic functions.” In 1883, Stockholm University invited her to become a lecturer. She initially rejected the invitation, citing “deep doubts” about her ability to excel at the position until she felt ready to live up to the honor. However, within six months of her arrival, she’d been promoted to full professor and offered an editor position in the journal Acta Mathematica. Two years later she was the department chair, fluent in Swedish, and dedicated to her work with a singular passion not felt since the early days of liberation from her father’s roof.It was then, egged on by supportive peers, that she went after what the discipline called the “mathematical mermaid,” a classical mathematical problem that had eluded many greats. For advancing the field’s understanding of this problem, which involved “the rotation of a solid body around a fixed point under the influence of gravitational force,” the Paris Academy of Sciences would issue a cash prize. Kowalevski worked furiously to complete her offering on time.The Paris Academy of Sciences’ announcement was a shock for two reasons. First, the winner broke so much new ground on the problem that the prize’s governing body voted to increase the pot. The second was only a surprise to those who didn’t already know her. Of the fifteen entries submitted anonymously, Kowalevski’s took the prize. Her solution led the way to new areas of research in theoretical mathematics. An analysis of her work pointed out that her win had influence that was more than mathematical: “The value... is not only in the results themselves nor in the originality of her method, but also in the increased interest she aroused in the problem... on the part of researchers in many countries, in particular Russia.”By the time of her death from pneumonia at age forty-one, Kowalevski had risen to the top of her discipline. As was custom, her brain was weighed and assessed, the size and grooves judged as an indication of ability. “[The] brain of the deceased was developed in the highest degree,” reported the Stockholm newspapers. “And was rich in convolutions, as might have been predicted, judging by her high intelligence.”

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