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Proving It Her Way

Emmy Noether, a Life in Mathematics

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  • © 2020


  • An accessible account of of Noether’s life and work written for a general audience
  • Based on historical research and new archival sources
  • Demonstrates how Emmy Noether promoted modern algebra through her international school
  • Provides historical background to the play "Diving into Math with Emmy Noether"

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


About this book

The name Emmy Noether is one of the most celebrated in the history of mathematics. A brilliant algebraist and iconic figure for women in modern science, Noether exerted a strong influence on the younger mathematicians of her time and long thereafter; today, she is known worldwide as the "mother of modern algebra."

Drawing on original archival material and recent research, this book follows Emmy Noether’s career from her early years in Erlangen up until her tragic death in the United States. After solving a major outstanding problem in Einstein’s theory of relativity, she was finally able to join the Göttingen faculty in 1919. Proving It Her Way offers a new perspective on an extraordinary career, first, by focusing on important figures in Noether’s life and, second, by showing how she selflessly promoted the careers of several other talented individuals. By exploring her mathematical world, it aims to convey the personality and impact of a remarkable mathematician who literally changed the face of modern mathematics, despite the fact that, as a woman, she never held a regular professorship.

Written for a general audience, this study uncovers the human dimensions of Noether’s key relationships with a younger generation of mathematicians. Thematically, the authors took inspiration from their cooperation with the ensemble portraittheater Vienna in producing the play "Diving into Math with Emmy Noether." Four of the young mathematicians portrayed in Proving It Her Way – B.L. van der Waerden, Pavel Alexandrov, Helmut Hasse, and Olga Taussky – also appear in "Diving into Math."


“While most of Emmy Noether's letters may have been published previously, and naturally many published sources go into the making of this work, the result here is a depiction unique in breadth and depth of Emmy Noether and the communities in which she lived.” (Albert C. Lewis, Mathematical Reviews, May, 2022)

“The titles of the nine chapters of the book give a good impression on the wide range of topics covered … . With this book the authors succeed in conveying a feeling for Noether’s way of doing mathematics without going into mathematical details. A deeper insight in different aspects of Noether’s life and work can be found … .” (Andrea Blunck, zbMATH 1479.01001, 2022)

“Proving It Her Way is a wonderful general biography of Emmy Noether which provides the reader with an interesting overview of her life, mathematical contributions, and perseverance over discrimination.” (Cynthia J. Huffman, MAA Reviews, July 4, 2021)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathematics Institute, Mainz University, Mainz, Germany

    David E. Rowe

  • Chief gender equality officer, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

    Mechthild Koreuber

About the authors

David E. Rowe is professor emeritus for history of mathematics and natural sciences at Mainz University. He is the author of A Richer Picture of Mathematics: The Göttingen Tradition and Beyond, Springer, 2018.

Mechthild Koreuber is the chief gender equality officer of Freie Universität Berlin and a historian of mathematics. She is the author of Emmy Noether, die Noether-Schule und die moderne Algebra: Zur Geschichte einer kulturellen Bewegung, Springer Spektrum, 2015

Both served as scientific advisors to portraittheater Vienna for the play "Diving into Math with Emmy Noether."

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Proving It Her Way

  • Book Subtitle: Emmy Noether, a Life in Mathematics

  • Authors: David E. Rowe, Mechthild Koreuber

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematics and Statistics (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-62810-9Published: 24 November 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-62811-6Published: 23 November 2020

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIX, 241

  • Number of Illustrations: 5 b/w illustrations, 25 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: History of Mathematical Sciences

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