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Nature volume 49, pages 205209 | Download Citation



MLLE. KLUMPKE, who has just gained the degree of Doctor in Mathematical Sciences at the Sorbonne, is the first lady who has obtained that distinction. The full title of her thesis was “Contribution à 1'étude des anneaux de Saturne,” and the following is a translation from La Nature of the complimentary terms in which M. Darboux addressed the gifted authoress in granting her the degree:—“You have occupied yourself with one of the most interesting questions in astronomy. The great names of Galileo, Huyghens, Cassini, and Laplace, without speaking of those of my illustrious colleagues and friends, are connected with the history of each of the great advances in the attractive but difficult theory of the rings of Saturn. Your work is not a slight contribution to the subject, and it places you in an honourable position among the ladies who have devoted themselves to the study of mathematics. During last century Mile. Marie Agnesi gave us a work on the differential and integral calculus. Since then Sophia Germain, as remarkable for her literary and philosophic talent as for her mathematical faculties, was held in esteem by the great geometers who honoured our country at the beginning of this century. And but a few years ago the Academy of Sciences, on the report of a commission in which I had the honour to take part, awarded one of its best prizes to Mdme. Kowalewska, placing her name by the side of those of Euler and Lagrange in the history of discoveries relating to the theory of the movement of a solid body around a fixed point. In your turn you have entered upon your career. We know that for some years you have devoted yourself with great zeal and success to investigations connected with the star-chart. Your thesis, which you have prepared according to our course of higher mathematics, with an assiduity that we could not ignore, is the first that a lady has presented and successfully sustained before our Faculty to obtain the degree of Doctor of Mathematical Sciences. You have worked in a deserving manner, and the Faculty has unanimously decided to declare you worthy of the grade of Doctor.”

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