Women in Maths Activity Page

Mystery Guest!

If you choose – download and print the supporting worksheet to do alongside watching the video.

Katie Steckles introduces the Fold & Cut Theorem

Zoe Griffiths has bag loads of money!

See what Zoe has to say about the wonders of being a Mathematician. Then see if you can solve her puzzle!

Sofya Lyakhova’s IWD2022 Date Puzzle

Female Mathematicians Challenge

Take a look at some of the most famous female mathematicians with this cut and stick timeline activity.

Daina Taimina

From: Lativa

Born: 1954 – Present

About: Received her doctorate in mathematics from University of Latvia.  Her crocheted work of parabolic shapes has been included in many collections including the Smithsonian’s and she became the first woman to earn the Euler Prize for her mathematical books for hers Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes.

Mary Wynne Warner

From: Carmarthen

Born: 22 June 1932 Died: 1 Apr 1998

About: Mathematician who worked in the fields of topology and fuzzy logic.  The only female Welsh mathematician so far to receive acclaim for her achievements.

Ingrid Daubechies

From: Belgium

Born: 1954 – Present

About: To analyse the signal of an image, sound, electrocardiogram tracing, or even a turbulent gas, one must break it down into simpler parts. The parts that scientists and engineers use are Daubechies’s wavelets—mathematical building blocks that are also used for data compression and encryption.

Evelyn Boyd Granville

From: Washington

Born: 1924 – Present

About: She was only the second African-American woman to earn her Ph.D. in Mathematics. 

Maryam Mirzakhani

From: Iran

Born: 12 May 1977  Died: 13 July 2017

About: The first Iranian student to achieve a perfect score and win two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiads. In 2014 she was the first ever woman to receive the Fields Medal, which is sometimes described as a Nobel prize for mathematics.

Julia Robinson

From: United States

Born: 8 Dec 1919 Died: 30 July 1985

About: Focused her career on decision problems. Her most famous contribution was disproving Hilbert’s tenth problem—it was an effort that took decades and several minds and was a rare point of cooperation between American and Soviet mathematicians during the height of the Cold War.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

From: Milan

Born: 16 May 1718 Died: 9 Jan 1799

About: Mathematician, philosopher, theologian and humanitarian.  First woman to write a mathematics textbook, and the first woman appointed as a mathematics professor at a university.

Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat

From: Lille, France

Born: 1923 – present

About: Mathematician and physicist, an expert in general relativity who proved the local existence and uniqueness of solutions to the vacuum Einstein Equations.

Joan Clarke

From: London

Born: 24 June 1917 Died: 4 Sept 1996

About: Bletchley Park codebreaker who worked with Alan Turing and others in breaking Germany’s Enigma cipher and other ciphers.  Became a researcher in numismatics (the study of coins and the history of coinage) in later life.

Sophie Germain

From: Paris

Born: 1 April 1776 Died: 27 June 1831

About: Mathematician, physicist and philosopher.  A pioneer in elasticity theory and attempts to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem, using Germain primes: primes p where 2p + 1 is also prime (e.g. 5, as 2 x 5 + 1= 11).  Hid her gender under the pseudonym “Monsieur Le Blanc” for a time.

Ada Lovelace

From: London

Born: 10 Dec 1815 Died: 27 Nov 1852

About: Mathematician and writer famous for her work with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine.  Often regarded as the writer of the world’s earliest computer program, and has the programming language Ada named after her.

Emmy Noether

From: Erlangen, Germany

Born: 23 March 1882 Died: 14 April 1935

About: Described as “the greatest woman mathematician who has ever lived”, she made great developments in abstract algebra, while Noether’s Theorem plays a huge part in conservation laws in physics.

Florence Nightingale

From: Florence

Born: 12 May 1820 Died: 13 Aug 1910

About: Most famous as a nurse, but initially trained as a mathematician – a pioneer in the use of graphics in statistics, her diagrams played a great part in convincing the British Government to send more nurses to the Crimean war and improve medical conditions there.

Dr Hannah Fry

From: Harlow

Born: 21 Feb 1984 – present

About: Graduating from University College London, Hannah Fry has a PhD in fluid dynamics. Amongst other things she has written several books and also presented the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures in 2019. She has recently been appointed Professor in the Mathematics of Cities.

Katie Steckles

About: Katie Steckles is a mathematician based in Manchester, who gives talks and workshops and writes about mathematics. She finished her PhD in 2011, and since then has talked about maths at universities, schools events, festivals, on BBC radio and TV, in books and on the internet.

Zoe Griffiths

About: Zoe Griffiths is a mathematician for former teacher who travels the UK and internationally giving talks about maths. She has talked about maths in places ranging from the Cheltenham Science Festival to BBC Radio 4. Zoe’s favourite number is i and she has been known to bake mathematical cakes and write mathematical poetry. 


From: Wales!

Born: From today’s date – subtract your age.

About: It could be you! You are a Mathematician! The question is…do you want to be one when you grow up? Whatever gender, whatever age, whatever ethnicity the mathematical world is waiting for you. Do all the maths you can and the sky really isn’t the limit…. it’s much much higher than that.

Royal Institute Christmas Lectures 2019

If you have never heard of the Christmas Lectures, take a look below at the 2019 series given by Dr Hannah Fry. All the Christmas lectures are available from the Royal Institute here.

First Lecture

Second Lecture

Third Lecture