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Sophie's Diary: A Historical Fiction

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Sophie Germain overcame gender stigmas and a lack of formal education yet proved, after Euler, that for all prime exponents n less than 100 Fermat's Last Theorem holds. Hidden behind a man's name, her brilliance as mathematician was first discovered by three of the greatest scholars of the eighteenth century¿ Lagrange, Gauss, and Legendre. In Sophie's Diary, Germain comes Sophie Germain overcame gender stigmas and a lack of formal education yet proved, after Euler, that for all prime exponents n less than 100 Fermat's Last Theorem holds. Hidden behind a man's name, her brilliance as mathematician was first discovered by three of the greatest scholars of the eighteenth century¿ Lagrange, Gauss, and Legendre. In Sophie's Diary, Germain comes to life through a fictionalized journal that intertwines mathematics with historical descriptions of the brutal events that took place in Paris between 1789 and 1793. This format provides a plausible perspective of how a young Sophie could have learned mathematics on her own-both fascinated by numbers and eager to master tough subjects without a teacher's guidance. Her passion for mathematics is integrated into her personal life as an escape from societal outrage. Sophie's Diary is suitable for a variety of readers¿both young and old, mathematicians and novices¿who will be inspired and enlightened on a field of study made easy as is told through the intellectual and personal struggles of an exceptional young woman.


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Sophie Germain overcame gender stigmas and a lack of formal education yet proved, after Euler, that for all prime exponents n less than 100 Fermat's Last Theorem holds. Hidden behind a man's name, her brilliance as mathematician was first discovered by three of the greatest scholars of the eighteenth century¿ Lagrange, Gauss, and Legendre. In Sophie's Diary, Germain comes Sophie Germain overcame gender stigmas and a lack of formal education yet proved, after Euler, that for all prime exponents n less than 100 Fermat's Last Theorem holds. Hidden behind a man's name, her brilliance as mathematician was first discovered by three of the greatest scholars of the eighteenth century¿ Lagrange, Gauss, and Legendre. In Sophie's Diary, Germain comes to life through a fictionalized journal that intertwines mathematics with historical descriptions of the brutal events that took place in Paris between 1789 and 1793. This format provides a plausible perspective of how a young Sophie could have learned mathematics on her own-both fascinated by numbers and eager to master tough subjects without a teacher's guidance. Her passion for mathematics is integrated into her personal life as an escape from societal outrage. Sophie's Diary is suitable for a variety of readers¿both young and old, mathematicians and novices¿who will be inspired and enlightened on a field of study made easy as is told through the intellectual and personal struggles of an exceptional young woman.

55 review for Sophie's Diary: A Historical Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This could have been so good. The entire where she describes living through the French Revolution were fascinating but the math entries (the most important ones!) were where this fell flat. It's highly unlikely that someone would literally re explain every piece of mathematics they read about in their diary. They'd more likely make references and summarize, maybe pose some questions, but not explain in detail how to solve linear equations! I found it pretty unrealistic and thought it read more l This could have been so good. The entire where she describes living through the French Revolution were fascinating but the math entries (the most important ones!) were where this fell flat. It's highly unlikely that someone would literally re explain every piece of mathematics they read about in their diary. They'd more likely make references and summarize, maybe pose some questions, but not explain in detail how to solve linear equations! I found it pretty unrealistic and thought it read more like a textbook than a diary. I love Germain and this could have been wonderful but anyone who loves math will already know most or all of what she explains and will be bored, and most who don't love math will be turned off by the detailed explanations that really aren't for a layperson.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Mccargish

    The genre for the book "Sophie's Diary: A Historical Fiction" is based on historical fiction. The storyline for "Sophie's Diary" is about a character named Sophie Germain and her life in formal education. Sophie was in excellent mathematics, she was even discovered by three scholars in the 18th century. As the storyline progresses through Sophie's Diary another character comes to life as well as life in Paris in the years 1789 and 1793. Another, important aspect to consider about Sophie's life i The genre for the book "Sophie's Diary: A Historical Fiction" is based on historical fiction. The storyline for "Sophie's Diary" is about a character named Sophie Germain and her life in formal education. Sophie was in excellent mathematics, she was even discovered by three scholars in the 18th century. As the storyline progresses through Sophie's Diary another character comes to life as well as life in Paris in the years 1789 and 1793. Another, important aspect to consider about Sophie's life is that she has learned about numbers which have fascinated her to learn tougher course throughout her educational career without the assistance of instructors. After reading the book "Sophie's Diary: A Historical Fiction" I rated the story with five stars. There are several reasons I decided to rate the book with five stars is the historical information about the French Revolution. Also, Sophie's experience as she became a mathematician and sought for an higher education when education was not available to women.

  3. 5 out of 5

    George Harris

    A fictionalized diary of French mathematician Sophie Germain as a teenage girl during the French revolution. An odd mixture of historical observation and mathematical discovery. Probably not of much interest to anyone without a strong interest in one of those, and then some of the sloppiness will probably annoy you (to show that the cube root of two is not constructible with straightedge and compass, it is insufficient to show that it is irrational, as some other irrational numbers *are* constru A fictionalized diary of French mathematician Sophie Germain as a teenage girl during the French revolution. An odd mixture of historical observation and mathematical discovery. Probably not of much interest to anyone without a strong interest in one of those, and then some of the sloppiness will probably annoy you (to show that the cube root of two is not constructible with straightedge and compass, it is insufficient to show that it is irrational, as some other irrational numbers *are* constructible). Still, in that regard a fun, relatively light read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wrbill Edwards

    Good book, for specialized readers - those with mathmatical background and interest in the history of mathematics and women in science. Sophie Germain was a mathematical prodigy who was adolescent during the French Revolution. This is a fictional account of what might have been her early development as a mathmatician against the Revolution and Terror in Paris, and when higher education and scholarship was closed to women.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelli Pudelko

    I had a hard time reading a book from a diary perspective, good book to have in the classroom for students who are interested in historic fiction. This young girl is witty, and smart and ends up teaching herself one of the most difficult subjects, math. I found that her story was inspiring, and something that could easily be incorporated into a history unit.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kadri

    Well written, fascinating and inspirational.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fiori

  8. 5 out of 5

    alison1 bodor

  9. 4 out of 5

    Zuhair Parvez

  10. 5 out of 5

    rusparrow

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pooks

  13. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melody Sims

  15. 4 out of 5

    Willy Van den driessche

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jozeee

  17. 4 out of 5

    Layle

    Although fictionalized, very interesting view of a female mathematician and the French Revolution.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carson

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diane Ward

  20. 5 out of 5

    Caio Santos

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Greenwood

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Carol

  26. 4 out of 5

    db

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate Farrell

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  31. 5 out of 5

    Christine Christensen

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Mcclurg

  33. 5 out of 5

    Lmstclair3

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Kress

  35. 5 out of 5

    alisonwonderland

  36. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  37. 5 out of 5

    Erin Kraft

  38. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Young

  39. 4 out of 5

    Annibell

  40. 4 out of 5

    Lola Swint

  41. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

  42. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hayworth

  43. 4 out of 5

    Ai

  44. 5 out of 5

    Carolina Muñoz

  45. 4 out of 5

    Pam Trefftzs

  46. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Richards

  47. 5 out of 5

    Geri B.

  48. 4 out of 5

    Daisy

  49. 4 out of 5

    Elora

  50. 4 out of 5

    Sanjay Kumar

  51. 4 out of 5

    Kara

  52. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  53. 4 out of 5

    Zuleika Frost

  54. 5 out of 5

    Amber Yoo

  55. 5 out of 5

    Melini Abraham

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