she cooked dinner for her students took a long walk with them and for dessert

She cooked dinner for her students took a long walk

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she cooked dinner for her students, took a long walk with them, and for dessert made mathematische Papp mathematical mush pudding. Then she scandalized the men by leaving the dirty dishes for her house cleaner. The fact that she was entertaining a crowd of hungry young men on a low budget with limited spare time and no interest in housekeeping does not appear to have struck the students. They were accustomed to servant-filled homes orchestrated by the fulltime wives of G ö ttingen s well-paid professors. Her informal lifestyle be- came the butt of many jokes. A favorite story explained why she did not repair her umbrella like a proper hausfrau: if the sun was shin- ing, she forgot about the umbrella, and if it rained, she needed it. G ö ttingen s social life revolved around parties nominally hosted by the professors but actually organized by their wives. Noether con- tributed her share, specializing in children s parties and mathemati- cal teas or evenings when she served lots of sweets, tea, or Rhine wine. They were relaxed, comfortable affairs where students mixed with eminent mathematicians like Hilbert, Edmund Landau, Rich- ard Brauer, and Weyl. She must have created a cozy atmosphere be- cause her living room was selected as the site of a carefully planned reconciliation between two giants: Hilbert the formalist and L. E. J. Brouwer the intuitionalist. A group watched nervously as Alex- androv skillfully engineered the conversation around to a man whom both loathed. United in antipathy, Hilbert and Brouwer be- came bosom friends at least while they remained at Noether s. Noether pared her life of inessentials and conventions, just as she stripped mathematics of its inessentials. Alexandrov admired her extraordinary kindness of heart, alien to any affectation or insincer- ity; her cheerfulness and simplicity; her ability to ignore everything that was unimportant in life. But not all his colleagues agreed. They complained because her voice was not soft and refined; it was loud and disagreeable. Another thought she looked like an energetic and very nearsighted washerwoman. Still others chided that her clothes were always baggy. As the historians Robert P. Crease and Charles C. Mann remarked, Had Noether been a man, her appear- ance, demeanor, and classroom behavior would have been readily recognized as one of the forms that absent-minded brilliance fre- quently assumes in the males of the species. Weyl recalled her unconventional behavior as fond foibles in his eulogy following her death. He dwelt long and some may feel pa- McGrayne, Sharon Bertsch, et al. Nobel Prize Women in Science : Their Lives, Struggles and Momentous Discoveries, Joseph Henry Press, 2001. ProQuest Ebook Central, .

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