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From rocket scientists to code breakers, discover the incredibly inspiring stories of more than 30 women who fought through the obstacles, shattered the stereotypes, and embraced their STEM passions.
Prepare to be inspired. With more than 200 photos and original interviews with several of the amazing women covered, Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics is a full-color volume that takes aim at the forgotten influence of women on the development of mathematics over the last two millennia.
Each biography reveals the amazing life of a different female mathematician, from her childhood and early influences, to the obstacles she faced and the great achievements she made in spite of them. Learn how:
- After her father terminated her math lessons, Sofia Kovalevskaya snuck algebra books into her bed to read at night.
- Emmy Noether became an invaluable resource to Albert Einstein while she was in the Navy.
- Native American rocket scientist Mary Golda Ross developed designs for fighter jets and missiles in a top-secret unit.
- Katherine Johnson’s life-or-death calculations at NASA meant that astronauts such as Alan Shepard and John Glenn made it home alive.
- Shakuntala Devi multiplied massive numbers in her head so her family could eat at night.
- Pamela Harris proved her school counselors wrong when they told her she would only succeed as a bilinguial secretary.
- Carla Cotwright-Williams began her life in the dangerous streets of South-Central Los Angeles before skyrocketing to a powerful career with the Department of Defense in Washington DC.
May their stories empower the next generation of STEM rebels to continue advancing mathematical theory, bringing awareness to the field, and increasing our Power in Numbers.
About the Author
Dr. Talithia Williams is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and co-host of the PBS series NOVA Wonders. She develops statistical models that emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data with environmental applications. Williams received her BS in mathematics from Spelman College, master’s degrees in both mathematics from Howard University and statistics from Rice University, and a PhD in statistics from Rice University. Her professional experiences include research appointments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the National Security Agency (NSA), and NASA. Renowned for her popular TED Talk, "Own Your Body's Data," she has delivered speeches nationally and internationally on the value of statistics in quantifying personal health information. Dr. Williams has been recognized for the development of a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for developing countries in Africa. In 2015, she won the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member.