a b p About 355 A.D. – 415 A.D. d l e first woman in mathematics • Her father, Theon, was a mathematics professor. • She herself taught at a university in Alexandria named Plotinus. Hypatia was an eloquent speaker. She designed scientific instruments used to measure the positions of the stars and planets. Besides her astronomical devices, Hypatia invented a machine to distill water and measure it’s properties. Hypatia was a Greek mathematician, scientist, and philosopher who was well respected by other thinkers of her time. Dr. Michael Deakin from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia says that Hypatia was “absolutely pre-eminent in the mathematical world of her day.” Ockham’s Razor-ABC Radio National • Hypatia lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria is on the northern coast of the African continent. • When Hypatia lived in Alexandria there was an enormous lighthouse which guided the ships to the port. The light house was considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world. Alexandria Her mother died when she was a baby. Her father raised her, and instructed her in arts, literature, science, philosophy, and math. • Hypatia was given privileges that most girls of her day were not given. • She spoke publicly • She traveled to other countries. • Hypatia discussed important matters with important men. Hypatia’s friend Orestes, the governor of Alexandria, was in a hot dispute with the archbishop. The archbishop blamed Hypatia for Orestes’ ideas. He did so because Hypatia and Orestes wrote and discussed important topics of the day. Hypatia was brutally murdered by a mob of Christians that dragged her from her chariot and cut her with sharp roofing tiles. The archbishop, Cyril, had ordered the attack. • Although Hypatia died a violent death, she could not be completely eliminated from history. • Her story fascinates us because 1,600 years later we still do not have as many women as men pursuing careers in the math and sciences. What did you learn? Name 3 things that Hypatia did as a mathematician and scientist: • taught at a university • Invented instruments to study planets • Invented an water distiller Where did Hypatia live? Alexandria Egypt What things did Hypatia do that most women of her day did not do? • She spoke publicly • Hypatia traveled to other countries • She discussed important topics with important men Why did Hypatia die a violent death? The archbishop, Cyril, did not like her influence on the governer, Orestes.
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