Maria Agnesi – An Extraordinarily Brilliant Child Prodigy

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Maria Agnesi was born on May 16, 1718, in Milan. She belonged to a wealthy and literate family. Her father, Pietro Agnesi, was a wealthy silk merchant. Maria’s mother’s death provided her the excuse to break from public life. She decided to manage the household.

A Child Prodigy Known As Seven-Tongued Orator | Maria Agnesi

Maria got prominent as a child prodigy because she could speak Italian and French at only five years of age. By her eleventh birthday, she was able to speak Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German, and Latin. The brilliant girl was popularly known as the “Seven-Tongued Orator.”

Maria Agnesi: Mathematician and Philosopher
Maria Agnesi

Image source: Google

Maria was an Italian linguistic prodigy, mathematician, theologian, philosopher, and humanitarian. Maria was the first woman to become a mathematics professor at a university. Moreover, she became the first woman who wrote a mathematics handbook. She was also the first one to write the first book discussing both differential and integral calculus. The mathematician was also a member of the faculty at the University of Bologna. Maria studied theology and did charitable works during the last four decades of her life. 

Maria’s Contribution To Mathematics

Maria Agnesi was the first woman in the Western world to have achieved a reputation in mathematics. One of her most valuable results was the best introduction extant to the works of Euler. According to Agnesi, the aim of this result was to give a systematic illustration of the different outcomes and theorems. She also worked on integrating mathematical analysis with algebra. In fact Its first volume contains the analysis of finite quantities and the second of the infinitesimals.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi - Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

Some of her works were dedicated to Empress Maria Theresa moreover She thanked Maria Agnesi with the gift of a diamond ring, a diamond and crystal case, and a personal letter. Many other prominent people praised her work.

Later Life

In 1750, she became the professor of natural philosophy, mathematics, and physics at Bologna. In 1751 she became ill and doctors gave her advice not to study. But, after her father died in 1752, she devoted herself to the study of theology, especially of the Fathers. Moreover, she started helping the poor, homeless, and sick by giving away the gifts she had received. On January 9, 1799, she passed away.

The Global Child Prodigy Awards remembers this brilliant child prodigy of our history. If you know any such prodigies, register them for GCPA 2021.

Also Read : Blaise Pascal – A Prominent Mathematics Prodigy

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