#5279 - Mathematics
2018 50c STEM Education
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: April 6, 2018
First Day City: Washington, DC
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 15,000,000 stamps
Mathematics plays an often-unnoticed part in our everyday lives. But nearly everything we do involves a calculation of some sort. And most children rarely consider a career in math. If they looked at those who came before them, they might see all the amazing and important work mathematicians do.
Benjamin Banneker was a self-educated inventor, mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor. He enjoyed mathematical puzzles, which he used to build a clock that maintained the correct time for decades. Banneker used astronomical calculations to predict the 1789 solar eclipse, proving well-known astronomers wrong. For several years, he calculated the locations of planets and stars, which he published in an almanac.
Another pioneer was Emmy Noether, who has been called “the greatest woman mathematician of all time.” Despite the obstacles she faced as a woman in early academia, Noether was driven by her love for math and made major advances in algebra. Most notably, she developed Noether’s theorem, which explains the connection between symmetry and conservation laws. Her theorem is an important part of modern physics.
The idea of a career in mathematics can seem challenging to some children. It is important for them to look to figures such as Banneker and Noether and see what a profound effect they can have on the world.