Softcover ISBN:  9781470471569 
Product Code:  SPEC/73.S 
List Price:  $40.00 
MAA Member Price:  $30.00 
AMS Member Price:  $30.00 
eBook ISBN:  9781614445104 
Product Code:  SPEC/73.E 
List Price:  $35.00 
MAA Member Price:  $26.25 
AMS Member Price:  $26.25 
Softcover ISBN:  9781470471569 
eBook: ISBN:  9781614445104 
Product Code:  SPEC/73.S.B 
List Price:  $75.00 $57.50 
MAA Member Price:  $56.25 $43.13 
AMS Member Price:  $56.25 $43.13 
Softcover ISBN:  9781470471569 
Product Code:  SPEC/73.S 
List Price:  $40.00 
MAA Member Price:  $30.00 
AMS Member Price:  $30.00 
eBook ISBN:  9781614445104 
Product Code:  SPEC/73.E 
List Price:  $35.00 
MAA Member Price:  $26.25 
AMS Member Price:  $26.25 
Softcover ISBN:  9781470471569 
eBook ISBN:  9781614445104 
Product Code:  SPEC/73.S.B 
List Price:  $75.00 $57.50 
MAA Member Price:  $56.25 $43.13 
AMS Member Price:  $56.25 $43.13 

Book DetailsSpectrumVolume: 73; 2012; 279 pp
Sophie Germain overcame gender stigmas and a lack of formal education to prove that for all prime exponents less than 100 Case I of Fermat's Last Theorem holds. Hidden behind a man's name, her brilliance as mathematician was first discovered by three of the greatest scholars of the eighteenth century, Lagrange, Gauss, and Legendre.
In Sophie's Diary, Germain comes to life through a fictionalized journal that intertwines mathematics with historical descriptions of the brutal events that took place in Paris between 1789 and 1793. This format provides a plausible perspective of how a young Sophie could have learned mathematics on her own—both fascinated by numbers and eager to master tough subjects without a teacher's guidance. Her passion for mathematics is integrated into her personal life as an escape from societal outrage. Sophie's Diary is suitable for a variety of readers—both young and old, mathematicians and novices—who will be inspired and enlightened on a field of study made easy, as told through the intellectual and personal struggles of an exceptional young woman.

Table of Contents

Chapters

1. Awakening

2. Discovery

3. Introspection

4. Under Siege

5. Upon the Threshold

6. Intellectual Discovery

7. Knocking on Heaven’s Door


Reviews

While this is a work of fiction, literally every entry in the "diary" of Sophie Germain could plausibly be true. Germain was a woman that grew up in France in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, when the social norms were that women did not engage in intellectual pursuits. These norms were strongly enforced; it was very difficult for a woman to get any kind of an education in mathematics or any other science. ... The entries of this diary, which end in 1794, are a combination of Sophie describing her discoveries and difficulties while learning mathematics as well as the events of the revolution taking place all around her. Even though mathematics by itself is free of politics and other human foibles, it always operates within the historical context, if only because the people that do it are humans operating in a society. This is a great novel; it is accurate enough to be a reference in a history of math course, which is highly unusual for a work of fiction.
Charles Ashbacher, Journal of Recreational Mathematics 
Reading a diary is such a verboten act! But reading Sophie's Diary should not be. Dora Musielak has given us a delightful book of imaginings of mathematician Sophie Germain's mind during the late 18th century. ... The inclusion of history enhances the book substantially. The author does a nice job of interspersing the history with the mathematics, and the interplay makes the novel more believable as a diary and helps keep the reader's attention. Mathematically, the book begins with definitions of rational, irrational and prime, and musings on how to solve linear and quadratic equations. ... She does a nice job of spiraling the topic of prime numbers, returning throughout the book at more and more depth as Sophie's mathematical maturity increases.
John J. Watkins, Mathematical Reviews 
Sophie's Diary is a mathematical novel inspired by the life of the French mathematician Sophie Germain (1776–1831), the first woman to win the Prix de Mathematiques awarded by the Institute de France. This fictional diary presents a plausible explanation of how a young Parisian girl could have learned mathematics between 1789 and 1794, during the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Through a young girl's journal, the author weaves together Sophie's process of learning advanced mathematics on her own while growing up during this extremely volatile period of France's history. ... Sophie's Diary is an inspirational story that portrays the learning of complex mathematics as “exhilarating” and related to the natural world around us. I highly recommend this book.
Christine Hebert, Mathematics Teacher


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Sophie Germain overcame gender stigmas and a lack of formal education to prove that for all prime exponents less than 100 Case I of Fermat's Last Theorem holds. Hidden behind a man's name, her brilliance as mathematician was first discovered by three of the greatest scholars of the eighteenth century, Lagrange, Gauss, and Legendre.
In Sophie's Diary, Germain comes to life through a fictionalized journal that intertwines mathematics with historical descriptions of the brutal events that took place in Paris between 1789 and 1793. This format provides a plausible perspective of how a young Sophie could have learned mathematics on her own—both fascinated by numbers and eager to master tough subjects without a teacher's guidance. Her passion for mathematics is integrated into her personal life as an escape from societal outrage. Sophie's Diary is suitable for a variety of readers—both young and old, mathematicians and novices—who will be inspired and enlightened on a field of study made easy, as told through the intellectual and personal struggles of an exceptional young woman.

Chapters

1. Awakening

2. Discovery

3. Introspection

4. Under Siege

5. Upon the Threshold

6. Intellectual Discovery

7. Knocking on Heaven’s Door

While this is a work of fiction, literally every entry in the "diary" of Sophie Germain could plausibly be true. Germain was a woman that grew up in France in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, when the social norms were that women did not engage in intellectual pursuits. These norms were strongly enforced; it was very difficult for a woman to get any kind of an education in mathematics or any other science. ... The entries of this diary, which end in 1794, are a combination of Sophie describing her discoveries and difficulties while learning mathematics as well as the events of the revolution taking place all around her. Even though mathematics by itself is free of politics and other human foibles, it always operates within the historical context, if only because the people that do it are humans operating in a society. This is a great novel; it is accurate enough to be a reference in a history of math course, which is highly unusual for a work of fiction.
Charles Ashbacher, Journal of Recreational Mathematics 
Reading a diary is such a verboten act! But reading Sophie's Diary should not be. Dora Musielak has given us a delightful book of imaginings of mathematician Sophie Germain's mind during the late 18th century. ... The inclusion of history enhances the book substantially. The author does a nice job of interspersing the history with the mathematics, and the interplay makes the novel more believable as a diary and helps keep the reader's attention. Mathematically, the book begins with definitions of rational, irrational and prime, and musings on how to solve linear and quadratic equations. ... She does a nice job of spiraling the topic of prime numbers, returning throughout the book at more and more depth as Sophie's mathematical maturity increases.
John J. Watkins, Mathematical Reviews 
Sophie's Diary is a mathematical novel inspired by the life of the French mathematician Sophie Germain (1776–1831), the first woman to win the Prix de Mathematiques awarded by the Institute de France. This fictional diary presents a plausible explanation of how a young Parisian girl could have learned mathematics between 1789 and 1794, during the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Through a young girl's journal, the author weaves together Sophie's process of learning advanced mathematics on her own while growing up during this extremely volatile period of France's history. ... Sophie's Diary is an inspirational story that portrays the learning of complex mathematics as “exhilarating” and related to the natural world around us. I highly recommend this book.
Christine Hebert, Mathematics Teacher