Maria Gaetana Agnesi Facts
Maria Gaetana Agnesi Facts

Interesting Maria Gaetana Agnesi Facts: 

Maria Gaetana Agnesi was born in a wealthy family in Milan. 
Her father was a mathematics professor at the University of Bologna. 
She was gifted in languages as a child and by the age of 11 she spoke Italian, French, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German and Latin. 
At the age of 9 she composed and delivered an hour long speech in Latin defending a woman's right to an education. 
At the age of 12 she developed epilepsy and at the age of 14 began studying ballistics and geometry. 
Her father hosted a regular gathering of intellectuals which she attended and in which she participated. 
Accounts of the meetings and her contributions were given by Charles de Brosses in his Lettres sur l'Italie. 
After the death of her mother in 1717 her father married twice and eventually Agnesi was the tutor to 21 siblings and halfsiblings. 
Although her father refused to let her enter a convent as she wished, he did let her retire from public life and devote herself to the study of mathematics. 
In 1748 her valuable work, Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventu italiana, was published in Milan and was regarded and the best treatment of Euler and integrated mathematical analysis with algebra. 
In 1801 the book was translated into English and approved by John Colson, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. 
Agnesi dedicated the work to the Empress Maria Theresa who thanked her with the gift of a diamond ring, and a diamond and crystal case. 
Pope Benedict XIV wrote a letter in praise of her work and sent her a gold medal. 
Her father died in 1752 and she devoted the remainder of her life to the study of theology and service to the poor. 
In 1783 she became the founder and director of Opera Pia Trivulzio, a home for the elderly. 
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