Thursday, May 16, 2024

Maria Gaetana Agnesi's 306th Birthday

I'm happy to see Maria Gaetana Agnesi's birthday acknowledged in today's Writer's Almanac. However, the article is a bit misleading and includes at least two myths that I have debunked here before:

1. She did not invent or discover the Witch of Agnesi Curve
2. Her mother's death did not keep her from becoming a nun   

As a former newspaper journalist, I'm very annoyed when publications get the facts wrong, especially when I've notified them of their errors in the past. I guess all I can do is continue to point out the mistakes here.  

Meanwhile, I'm pleased to report that earlier this year, in honor of Women's History Month, the American University Library shared an Instagram post about Maria, noting that:

"In our rare books collection, we have a first edition of the English translated work of the Italian mathematician, Maria Gaetana Agnesi." 

3/3/2024 Instagram post @aulibrary


Happy birthday, Maria!