Sophie germain and elasticity theory

Report
Amanda Perri and Melody Mazloom
LESSON PLAN
Link to google document of the lesson and recording sheet:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qpMUaoXcqmTw750rNkDWLPEGE3aWX8u7
PHi-xP2TtX4/edit?usp=sharing
PHOTOS FROM THE LESSON
Practice with accuracy: Students
working in groups to measure the
gummy worms!
A student recording the data
CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO ELASTICITY
THEORY
SOPHIE GERMAIN
 Born April 1, 1776 in Paris, France
 Her parents were middle class, and
believed, like most people during this
time, that women should not pursue
academic studies
 Grew up during the French Revolution,
and was forced to stay home
 Spent this time reading and teaching
herself all about math, despite the
opposition from those around her,
including her parents!
PERSISTENT SOPHIE
 Although Sophie couldn’t
formally enroll in Paris’ new
Polytechnical school, she
submitted papers to
professors using the
pseudonym M. LeBlanc
 One professor, J. L. Lagrange,
was so impressed by Sophie,
he took her on as her Mentor
 Sophie finally had the
opportunity to meet and work
with influential
mathematicians and scientists
of the time
J. L. LAGRANGE
An image of Sophie’s mentor, J. L. Lagrange, a prominent mathematician of his time
SOPHIE’S LETTERS
 Sophie began writing letters to other prominent male
mathematicians of the time, sharing her theories and
discoveries, all using her pseudonym
 She began to be recognized for her contributions in math,
although not fully
 She is best known for her work in Number Theory and Elasticity
theory
SOPHIE’S LETTERS
PARIS ACADEMY OF SCIENCES PRIZE
 A call for papers was put out for someone to contribute to and
solve some issues related to Hooke’s original Elasticity Theory
 Sophie submitted a paper three times, each time improving on
and making corrections to her work
 Eventually, she received this very honourable prize for her work in
Elasticity theory, which allowed her to overcome some of the
barriers surrounding her
HONOURS FOR SOPHIE
 Sadly, Sophie did not receive the recognition she truly deserved until after her
death in 1831 of breast cancer, when she was fifty-five years old
 The university of Gottigen in Germany granted her an honourary degree,
something she was denied the opportunity to pursue during her life
 In Paris, there is a street named after Sophie and an all girl’s school
 A statue in Paris also commemorates her contributions to not only math, but the
advancement of women in academia
 Many of her letters are preserved in museums around the world
HONOURS FOR SOPHIE
WHAT IS ELASTICITY THEORY?
 Elasticity, the property of a substance that enables it to recover its original shape
and size after it has been stretched, squeezed, or bent. All substances are elastic
in one way or another.
 Solids have elasticity of form. They tend to resume their original shapes after
being deformed by bending, twisting, pulling, or pressure.
 Some solids, such as putty and modeling clay, are plastic, or relatively inelastic.
Others, such as rubber and steel, are very elastic
 All solids can be deformed beyond their elastic limit—the point at which they will
no longer resume their original form, even if the deforming force is removed.
Can you think of how elasticity theory can be used in the
world around us?
ELASTICITY THEORY IN EVERYDAY LIFE
 Elastics are used in everyday objects like clothing, can you imagine how
many times we would lose our pants if we didn’t have elastics?
 Elasticity theory was eventually reformulated to help scientists
understand what happens to the Earth’s plates after an earthquake, this
theory is called Elastic Rebound Theory.
 Your skin is elastic! Our skin is always stretching, and eventually it
begins to lose its elasticity making it unable to revert back to its original
shape, like an object that has been stretched beyond its limit. This is
what causes wrinkles and stretch marks!
WOMEN IN MATH TODAY
 Sophie was revolutionary for her time, breaking down the barriers that
she faced which prevented her from following her dreams
 Many of the barriers Sophie faced are still challenging women today.
These include:
Beliefs about women and math
How and if women are encouraged to pursue math
Media portrayals of women and men in math related careers
External pressures women face
WOMEN AND MATH
 Girls and women today are as capable and smart as
anyone to excel in math and science. Sophie Germain
shows us that if we are determined and committed to
something we can achieve anything, despite the
barriers around us!
SOPHIE GERMAIN’S OF OUR TIME
Dame Mary Lucy Cartwright
(December 17, 1900 – April 3,
1993)
Wrote over 100 papers and
contributed to many
mathematical theories
Julia Hall Bowman
Robinson (December 8,
1919 – July 30, 1985)
Best known for her work on
“decision problems”
Shafi Goldwasser
(Born 1958 -)
A professor of mathematics in Israel,
and won the Gödel Prize in in 1993

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