Maria Gaetana Agnesi Biography
(First Woman to Write a Mathematics Handbook and the First Woman Appointed as a University Mathematics Professor)
Birthday: May 16, 1718 (Taurus)
Born In: Milan, Italy
Maria Gaetana Agnesi was an eighteenth century Italian mathematician, philosopher and theologian. From the childhood, she was educated at home by a string of learned men of the church. By the age of eleven, she could speak fluently in seven different languages and began to be known as ‘The Seven Tongued Orator’. Even when she was a child, she was prodded by her ambitious father to speak on different topics in front of an august gathering of learned men, many of whom were internationally renowned scholars. In such gatherings she not only spoke on different topics in fluent Latin, but was also required to defend her theses. Moreover, when foreign scholars asked her complicated questions in their native tongue she always answered them in the same language. However, she disliked such obvious display of her intellect and withdrew from such activities in the pretext of her household duties once her mother died, but continued academic activities under the guidance of renowned scholars. Once her father died, she gave up even that. She then started studying theology and devoted her life entirely to the service of the poor.