S. Kovalevskaya, a great Russian mathematician, the first woman-academician, professor, Correspondent Member of Petersburg Academy of Sciences was born in 1850. She spent her childhood in her father's estate, in a village of Palibino Vitebsk Region. The house where the family lived had a large park and the girl loved to walk there thinking about different things.
Her first teacher of mathematics was the wall. Yes, don't be surprised, one of the walls of her room was papered with sheets from the book Higher Mathematics by Ostrogradsky. The girl used to stand before the wall and tried to understand the signs and symbols of higher mathematics.
To understand some formulas she used the textbook of physics by professor Tirtov. Professor Tirtov often visited Kovalevskaya's parents. One day he saw that the girl was studying his book.
“This book is not for you”, he said. “It is based on trigonometry which you haven't studied.”
“But I do know trigonometry”, the girl answered and she explained the astonished professor all the functions and formulas. The professor called Sophia a genius, compared her with Pascal and insisted on her studying mathematics. But at that time it was impossible for a woman to enter any higher school, so she had to leave her country and go abroad. She went to Berlin but women were not admitted to the University there either. So she found the address of a famous professor Weierstrass and went to him. He met her coldly but gave her some very difficult problems to solve. He was sure she was not able to solve them. But at the appointed time. Sophia came to him and showed all his problems which she had solved brilliantly.
After that professor Weierstrass agreed to teach Kovalevskaya privately. When three scientific masterpieces by Kovalevskaya appeared in 1874, Hettingen University awarded her the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Only her hard work helped her to graduate from the University and to get a Doctor's Degree.
She was eager to return to her native country, but the tsarist Government did not want to have women-professors in Russia. So she went to Sweden in 1883 and worked at the University in Stockholm. She continued her scientific work and at the same time she wrote her Memories of My Childhood, a drama Struggle for Happiness, and a novel Nihilist. In her numerous scientific works Kovalevskaya solved the problems which many scientists had failed to solve during many years. In 1888 Kovalevskaya got the First reward of 5,000 francs from Paris Academy of Sciences for her The Rotation of a Solid at the Fixed Point. In 1889 Kovalevskaya got the reward from the Swedish Academy of Sciences. She became famous.
Her portraits appeared in magazines and newspapers.
In 1889 Russian academicians Chebishev, Imshenetsky and Bunjakovsky succeeded in electing Sophia Kovalevskaya a Correspondent Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On the 10th of February 1891 Sophia Kovalevskaya died of consumption. She was only 41. In 1896 Russian women together with some social organizations erected a monument to a great Russian woman - Sophia Kovalevskaya.
but I do know но я действительно знаю (do в утв. предложении употребляется для усиления смыслового значения)
fixed point неподвижная точка
solid твердое тело
were not admitted не допускались
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