Agnes Scott College

Nadeschda Gernet

April 30, 1877-1943

Nadeschda Gernet was born in 1877 in Simbirsk, Russia. She attended school at the Simbirsk Gymnasium where she was awarded the gold prize upon graduation in 1894. She then moved to the Frauen-Universität in St. Petersburg where she studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy. Starting in 1898 she continued her studies at the University of Göttingen where she was the second female Ph.D. student of David Hilbert. She also attended lectures from Felix Klein. Gernet received her Ph.D. in 1902 with a thesis on "Untersuchung zur Variationsrechnung. Über eine neue Methode in der Variationsrechnung" ("On One New Method in the Variation of Calculus", available from Google Books.) After returning to Russia, she published the paper "On the Simplest Problems of Variation Calculus" in 1913, which was the basis for her Master's degree in mathematics from Moscow University in 1915. She was the second woman to earn such a degree from that university. Gernet began teaching at the Women's Pedagogical Institute in St. Petersburg in 1917, then was a professor at Leningrad University until she was forced to leave in 1929. She continued her mathematics career at the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute from 1930 to 1943. Gernet was elected a member of the Moscow Mathematical Society in 1910. She died during the siege of Leningrad in World War II.


  1. Biographical information from her Ph.D. Thesis
  2. Paul Buckingham. "Gernet, Nadezhda Nikolaevna," Supplement to the Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet, and Eurasian History. Edited by Bruce H. Adams, Edward Lazzerini, and George Rhyne. New York: Academic Press International, forthcoming.
  3. Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. Author Profile at zbMath