**Emmy Noether** is best known for her contributions to abstract algebra, in particular, her study of chain conditions on ideals of rings.

- Both Emmy's parents were of Jewish origin and the reader may be surprised at this since Noether is not a Jewish name.
- We should explain, therefore, how this came about and, at the same time, give some information on Emmy Noether's ancestors.
- Alfred Noether (1883-1918) studied chemistry and was awarded a doctorate from Erlangen in 1909.
- Fritz Noether (1884-1941) became an applied mathematician.
- Gustav Robert Noether (1889-1928) had bad health all his life.
- The first school that Emmy attended was on Fahrstrasse.
- After elementary school, Emmy Noether attended the Städtische Höhere Töchter Schule on Friedrichstrasse in Erlangen from 1889 until 1897.
- However Noether never became a language teacher.
- Noether obtained permission to sit in on courses at the University of Erlangen during 1900 to 1902.
- On 24 October 1904 Noether matriculated at Erlangen where she now studied only mathematics.
- Noether's doctoral thesis followed this constructive approach of Gordan and listed systems of 331 covariant forms.
- her dissertation of 1908 with Gordan pursued a huge calculation that had stumped Gordan forty years before and which Noether could not complete either.
- Noether also worked on her own research, in particular she was influenced by Ernst Fischer who had succeeded Gordan to the chair of mathematics when he retired in 1911.
- Fischer's influence took Noether towards Hilbert's abstract approach to the subject and away from the constructive approach of Gordan.
- Noether's reputation grew quickly as her publications appeared.
- In 1915 Hilbert and Klein invited Noether to return to Göttingen.
- The second problem Emmy investigated was a problem from special relativity.
- This result in theoretical physics is sometimes referred to as Noether's Theorem, and proves a relationship between symmetries in physics and conservation principles.
- This basic result in the theory of relativity was praised by Einstein in a letter to Hilbert when he referred to Noether's penetrating mathematical thinking.
- In a long battle with the university authorities to allow Noether to obtain her habilitation there were many setbacks and it was not until 1919 that permission was granted and she was given the position of Privatdozent.
- During this time Hilbert had allowed Noether to lecture by advertising her courses under his own name.
- At Göttingen, after 1919, Noether moved away from invariant theory to work on ideal theory, producing an abstract theory which helped develop ring theory into a major mathematical topic.
- Noether published Abstrakter Aufbau der Idealtheorie in algebraischen Zahlkorpern Ⓣ(Abstract composition of ideal theory in algebraic number fields) in 1924.
- In the same year of 1924 B L van der Waerden came to Göttingen and spent a year studying with Noether.
- The major part of the second volume consists of Noether's work.
- From 1927 onwards Noether collaborated with Helmut Hasse and Richard Brauer in work on non-commutative algebras.
- In addition to teaching and research, Noether helped edit Mathematische Annalen.
- Noether ran a seminar during the winter semester of 1933-34 for three students and one member of staff.
- Noether returned to Germany in the summer of 1934.
- We picked up Emmy at the Institute, and she and Artin immediately started talking mathematics.
- But Emmy was completely oblivious, and she talked very loudly and very excitedly, and got louder and louder, and all the time the "Führer" came out, and the "Ideal." She was very full of life, and she constantly talked very fast and very loud.
- Noether's death was sudden and unexpected.
- A street in her hometown is named for her and the school she attended is now named the Emmy Noether School.
- Various organisations name scholarships and lectures after Emmy Noether.

Born 23 March 1882, Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany. Died 14 April 1935, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA.

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Algebra, Group Theory, Origin Germany, Physics, Women

**O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive