Monday, May 21, 2018

A girl who taught math? Hypatia

Crystal Quintero, Ashley Wells, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit
The great Hypatia of Alexandria played by Rachel Weisz in Agora (
Fanatic Christian monks, the parabalani, drag off Hypatia to kill her (for Christ?)
Great Mathematician Hypatia of Alexandria, Egypt, Africa (Bewitching Names)
I'm black from Africa - Hypatia
Hypatia was a mathematician, Hellenistic Neo-Platonic philosopher, and astronomer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, Africa, which was at that time a part of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

She was born circa 350-370 AD and was murdered by a Christian mob in 415 AD. She had been the head of the Neoplatonic School at Alexandria, where she taught philosophy and astronomy.

Hypatia (
Hypatia is the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well recorded. She was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor.

Although no writings directly written by her have survived, it is thought that she may have edited the surviving text of Ptolemy's Almagest and possibly co-written some of the commentaries attributed to her famous mathematician father, Theon of Alexandria.

The great African black female mathematician
She also wrote a commentary on Diophantus's 13-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.

She is known to have constructed astrolabes and hydrometers, though not the inventor of these, which were both in use long before she was born.

Although she herself was a pagan, she was so tolerant towards Christians that she taught many, including Synesius, the future bishop of Ptolemais.

Towards the end of her life, Hypatia advised Orestes, the Roman prefect of Alexandria (Roman Egypt), who was in the midst of a feud with Cyril, the Patriarch of Alexandria.

Rumors spread accusing her of preventing Orestes from reconciling with Cyril and, in March 415 AD, she was murdered by a bloodthirsty Christian mob of monks known as the parabalani under the leadership of a lector named Peter, who murdered her in a temple with ceramic shards.

Hypatia's death shocked the empire and transformed her into a "martyr for philosophy," leading future Neoplatonists such as Damascius to become increasingly fervent in their opposition to Christianity.

To add insult to injury (or perhaps to make up for her murder by Christian fanatics), during the Middle Ages, Hypatia was co-opted and turned into a symbol of Christian virtue.

Scholars believe she was part of the basis for the legend of St. Catherine of Alexandria. During the Age of Enlightenment, she became a symbol of opposition to Catholicism (because Christians often use whatever means come to hand to achieve their imperial ends). More

Hot Math?
Math heroine Danica McKellar
Math may often seem daunting and unapproachable. It's that way even for professional mathematicians. Luckily, math can also be viewed as hot and sexy. On this program, Danica McKellar discusses "hot math." Looks better in n-dimensions…

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