Home > Mathematician of the Week Archive Detail

<< Prev 11/14/2010 Next >>

Educated at a private school in Moscow, I showed great potential in mathematics...and to prove my abilities, I took the much more difficult exit exams reserved for boys.

Thanks to the timing of the Russian Revolution, universities were now open to women as well as men...so I entered Moscow State University to study mathematics under Nikolai Luzin and Dimitri Egorov.

Completing the four-year coursework in three years, I was the first woman to graduate from Moscow State University, then tried teaching mathematics at the Moscow Forestry Institute, the Moscow Polytechnic Institute, and the Sverdlov Communist Institute.

But, I wanted to be at a research university... so I applied and won a research scholarship at Moscow's Research Institute of Mechanics and Mathematics, again working under Luzin in the theoretical area of trigonometrical series.

After becoming the first woman to present dissertation results in a lecture to the Moscow Mathematical Society, I continued to teach mathematics at Moscow State University and do research on the unique representation of functions by trigonometric series.

I died by falling in front of a train on the Moscow Metro...some subsequently claim that I had committed suicide because I was growing increasingly depressed over Luzin's death eleven years earlier...but no one will ever know the full truth!

Answer: Nina Karlovna Bari (1901 - 1961)