Diving Into Math with Emmy Noether


Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (View on map )

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Emmy Noether (1882-1935) was one of the most influential mathematicians of the last century. Her works and teachings left a lasting mark on modern algebra, opening new avenues for a modern structural perspective in mathematics. Noether began her studies at a time when women were only beginning to break down the barriers that prevented them from entering the doors of German universities. She eventually overcame even stronger resistance when she applied for the right to teach at a German university. It took her four years before she acquired that certification (Habilitation) in Göttingen on June 4, 1919, after submitting a thesis in which she solved one of the central problems in Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

To celebrate the centenary of this event and the career of a unique personality in the history of mathematics, the ensemble Portraittheater Vienna produced a biographical play, directed by Sandra Schüddekopf and starring Anita Zieher as Emmy. It opened on June 4, 2019 at the Freie Universität Berlin. Afterwards the play has been performed with great success at several different universities throughout Germany as well as the Theater Drachengasse in Vienna under the title “Mathematische Spaziergänge mit Emmy Noether”. Based on historical documents and events, the script was written by Sandra Schüddekopf and Anita Zieher in cooperation with the historians Mechthild Koreuber and David E. Rowe. “Diving into Math with Emmy Noether,” the English-language variant, will be available for performances in other European countries as of 2021, and will go on tour in North America during the spring of 2022. Financial support for the original production was provided by three universities in Berlin (Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, Technische Universität), and four other German universities (Erlangen-Nürnberg, Göttingen, Mainz, and Bielefeld).

Duration: 65 minutes
Language: English


Director: Sandra Schüddekopf
Actress: Anita Zieher
Text: Sandra Schüddekopf, Anita Zieher; original quotes from Emmy Noether and contemporaries
Scientific board: Mechthild Koreuber (Freie Universität Berlin), David Rowe (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz)
Videos: Karl Börner
Actors on screen: Alexander Fennon, Werner Landsgesell, Karola Niederhuber, Helmut Schuster, Anita Zieher
Music: Rupert Derschmidt
Costume: Lejla Ganic
Translation: David Rowe
Language Coach: Bronwynn Mertz-Penzinger
Photos: Helena Wimmer, Sandra Schüddekopf