Man giving a presentation on Emmy Noether

Who was Emmy Noether?

Emmy Noether was a trailblazer who refused to accept that women should not join the pursuit of knowledge.

Born in Germany in 1882, Emmy Noether faced countless obstacles. Not allowed to enroll in university because she was a woman, she instead audited mathematics classes and finally received her PhD in 1907.

She taught without pay or title until 1919, when Albert Einstein and others intervened on her behalf. Forced out of academia by the Nazis in 1933, she fled to the United States and taught at Bryn Mawr College until her death two years later.

B&W photo of Noether in profile holding a pen over paper, with dark hair pulled back, wearing a simple dark dress with light embellished edges and round thin glasses.
Photo ef Emmy Noether by Konrad Jacobs, Erlangen, CC BY-SA 2.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

Noether did foundational work in abstract algebra, creating a breakthrough theorem that connects conservation laws with symmetries in nature. A genius who would not sit on the sidelines, her theorem continues to underpin much of modern physics.


Peter Olver and Ruth Gregory explore the mathematical legacy of Emmy Noether during this public lecture presented during "Convergence" in 2015.

Learn more about how you can support Perimeter's Emmy Noether Initiatives at Perimeter.