PaperSophie Kowalevski. “Property of the System of Differential Equations.” Mathematical Paper. 1890. First Edition and first printing (in French). 12 pages. Neatly removed from a mathematical journal. Folio size about 9”x11”. Paper from one of Russia’s most important female Mathematicians.
Article is full of mathematical equations and proofs. Kowalevski was the first woman to serve as editor to a mathematics journal. Just a year before the printing of this article, Kowalevski was appointed full professor at Stockholm University, making her the first woman in modern Europe to hold such a position. This article is one of her last, as she died only a year later of influenza at the age of 41. Near fine condition. Kowalevski’s many mathematical findings, such as the Cauchy-Kowalevski theorem, and her pioneering role as a female mathematician in an almost exclusively male-dominated field, make her still an important figure in math today.
Despite her obvious talent for mathematics, she could not complete her education in Russia. At that time, women were not allowed to attend universities in Russia and most other countries. In October 1870, Kovalevskaya moved to Berlin, where she began to take private lessons with Karl Weierstrass, since the university would not allow her even to audit classes. He was very impressed with her mathematical skills, and over the subsequent three years taught her the same material that comprised his lectures at the university. In 1874 she presented three papers—on partial differential equations, on the dynamics of Saturn's rings, and on elliptic integrals—to the University of Göttingen as her doctoral dissertation. With the support of Weierstrass, this earned her a doctorate in mathematics summa cum laude, after Weierstrass succeeded in having her exempted from the usual oral examinations. Kovalevskaya thereby became the first woman to have been awarded a doctorate at a European university. Her paper on partial differential equations contains what is now commonly known as the Cauchy–Kovalevskaya theorem, which proves the existence and analyticity of local solutions to such equations under suitably defined initial/boundary conditions. Kovalevskaya has been the subject of three film and TV biographies.