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Maria Gaetana Agnesi


Maria Gaetana Agnesi was born in Milan in 1718, in a wealthy and cultured family. His father, a professor of mathematics at the University of Bologna, provided him with an exquisite private education, having acquired deep knowledge in various fields, which was not customary in the ladies of this century.

At age 9, he gave a lecture in Latin, arguing that the liberal arts - dependent on intelligence - were not inappropriate for their sex. At the age of 13, besides Italian and Latin, he knew five other languages: Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish and German.

When she was 15, her father introduced her into a circle of intellectuals, where everyone marveled at her wits in mathematics, physics, and philosophy. In 1748 he published a 2-volume work entitled "INSTITUZIONE ANALITICHE" with themes of Algebra, Geometry and Infinitesimal Calculus. The appearance of this book made a great deal of sense for "a lady" to deal with such mastery as deep and difficult mathematical questions. The second volume presents an extensive discussion of the Cartesian curve x²y + a²y = a³, commonly known as the AGNESI CURVE.

In 1750 his father became seriously ill and Maria Gaëtana was invited to occupy the chair he had left. Later moved by her religious feelings, she left teaching and retired to a convent to dedicate herself to those who suffered. She was in charge of the management of the hospital in her city, to which she devoted herself entirely, donating all her fortune and walking begging in the street for her patients. He died in January 1799 at the age of 81 in "his hospital". It can be said to have been renowned by science and sublime by virtue.