Comic

Summing the Cosmos: Henrietta Swan Leavitt and The Saga of the Cepheid Stars (Women in Science 22)

Summing the Cosmos: Henrietta Swan Leavitt and The Saga of the Cepheid Stars (Women in Science 22)

Astronomy is the sifting science. Its practitioners rake the sky, star by star, collecting and cataloguing, and when they are done, they begin again, through years and decades and generations. What they leave behind are reams of papers, or stacks of photographic plates, singing to the future the shape of the sky they knew. Today, pouring over those records is the job of machines, which take the te... »

It Came From Teichmueller Space! The Mathematical Adventures of Maryam Mirzakhani

It Came From Teichmueller Space! The Mathematical Adventures of Maryam Mirzakhani

A square, who works as a lawyer in the two-dimensional world of Flatland, sits down with his hexagonal grandson:   Taking nine squares, each an inch every way, I had put them together so as to make one large square, with a side of three inches, and I had hence proved to my grandson that – though it was impossible to see the inside of the square – yet we might ascertain the number of square in... »

The Woman Who Saved Shakespeare and Helped Win Two Wars: Cryptanalyst Elizebeth Friedman (Women In Science 20)

The Woman Who Saved Shakespeare and Helped Win Two Wars: Cryptanalyst Elizebeth Friedman (Women In Science 20)

Before Elizebeth and William Friedman, American cryptanalysis did not exist. The best thing we had, theoretically, were the occasional musings of Edgar Allen Poe, and even those were decidedly dilettantish put next to the organized efforts existing since the Elizabethan era in England. When World War I came to the United States, the armed forces simply did not know how to deal with the creation of... »

ATLAS Soared: Fabiola Gianotti and the Discovery of a Higgs Particle (Women In Science 19)

ATLAS Soared: Fabiola Gianotti and the Discovery of a Higgs Particle (Women In Science 19)

In a corner of a room, tucked unostentatiously away from the notice of the raving hordes of just barely contained school children using their field trip to Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science to wreak havoc, there lies behind glass a hundred year old circular object no bigger than a water canteen. It’s the world’s first cyclotron, held together by wire and wax, and built by Ernest O Lawrence in 19... »

The Curve Who Became a Witch: The Mathematics of Maria Agnesi (Women In Science 18)

The Curve Who Became a Witch: The Mathematics of Maria Agnesi (Women In Science 18)

If any century would have favorably understood the manic blend of child shaming and twisted pride that is the typical Toddlers and Tiaras pageant parent, it was the Eighteenth. Child prodigies were in, and if you were aching to claw your way into the ranks of the minor nobility, your precocious son or daughter was your meal ticket. Some decades before Leopold Mozart dragged young Wolfgang to any p... »

Gambit – Best Worst Costume Ever

Gambit – Best Worst Costume Ever

A couple of weeks ago, my plan to write this post was unseated by a pressing need to comment on the rather more temporally relevant news that Thor is going to be a Lady. Now that nerdsplosion has passed, I can get back to something really important: 90s Gambit. Gambit was my favorite X-man as a kid. He was witty, charming, roguish, and involved in the sort tragically doomed romance with Rogue that... »

Of Gifted Children and the Banality of Menstruation: The Psychological Research of Leta Hollingworth

Of Gifted Children and the Banality of Menstruation: The Psychological Research of Leta Hollingworth

What do you do with a gifted child? A child who learns new concepts three or four times faster than his contemporaries, often withdraws from social interaction, and who brings unsettling intensity to both her passion and apathy. How do you even identify one? In the early twentieth century, while Anna Freud worked with traumatized children, and Maria Montessori with the very young, it was Leta Holl... »

Sofia Kovalevskaya: Love Makes All the Partial Difference

Sofia Kovalevskaya: Love Makes All the Partial Difference

Everybody needs love, but for some the striving after it so dominates their every action and decision that it becomes impossible to ever truly find. Veering between professions, friendships, and lovers, their desire for perfect love driving away by its intensity anybody who might have offered it, those possessed by such a need rarely live happily or end well, but their lives dazzle as against the ... »

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