Maria Agnesi, Italian mathematician

Maria Agnesi, Italian mathematician

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Credit: HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES LIBRARY/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799), Italian scholar and mathematician. Agnesi was one of 24 children born to a mathematics professor in Bologna. She was a prodigy, speaking at least six languages by age 11. After the age of 20, she avoided public appearances and devoted herself to mathematics. In 1748, she published a widely praised book on analytical mathematics. In 1750, she was appointed professor of mathematics and philosophy at Bologna University. Her final years were spent as a nun. Engraving by Giovanni Antonio Sasso (active 1801- 1816), from a drawing by Jean-Baptiste-Francois Bosio (1764-1827); Bosio signed himself Giovanni Battista Bosio after he moved to Milan in 1805.

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