Philosopher, Astronomer, and Mathematician

Who is Hypatia?

Hypatia was born in Alexandria, Egypt circa 350–370, and died in 415 AD. She was known for her work in philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy and she is the first female mathematician whose life was well-documented.

Her Early Life, Education, and Awards

She was the daughter of Theon of Alexandria, a mathematician who founded a highly prestigious school of mathematics called the “Mouseion.”  Hypatia is thought to have followed him as the head of the institution. Both pagans and Christians were welcome in her classes, but tragically she was murdered by a mob of Christians after she was an advisor to a Roman prefect of Alexandria who was in conflict with the bishop of Alexandria.

Her Contributions to Science

Hypatia taught a variety of Neoplatonism based on the work of Plotinus. The basics of the philosophy is that we form ideas based on our experiences, and Hypatia applied mathematics to those ideals to explain important concepts. She was also known as a teacher of Asonomy and taught her students to use tools such as the astrolabe, an important naval instrument that measures the angle between the horizon and a star and allows for navigation at sea.

Marie Curie is one of the most famous scientists in history. She is best known for her work with radioactivity and research on the effects of radiation on living tissue. She helped develop X-ray machines during World War I which saved many lives.

Her Legacy

Hypatia’s legacy is not just one of mathematics but of women’s equality. At a time when the Coptic Christian Church taught that women had no souls, her father raised her to be the “perfect human,” someone who is balanced physically and mentally. She was a famous lecturer and proved by example that women were as intelligent as men. Many of her notes were foundational to theories that are still in use in math and astronomy to this day.

Learn more about Hyaptia from Britannica.com

keywords: Hypatia, Hypatia’s contributions to math and science, scientific discoveries, philosophy, woman mathematicians, women philosophers, female mathematicians, famous mathematicians, Hypatia, biography, Hypatia’s early life and education, women of STEM, women of STEAM