Sofia Kovalevskaya was born January 15, 1850, in Moscow, Russia. Kovalevskaya was attracted to mathematics at a young age, and taught herself trigonometry from a textbook written by a neighbor. Kovalevskaya received her doctorate from Gottingen University in 1874. Because she was a female, however, she was denied a university position in Russia. Instead, Kovalevskaya took a lecturer position in Stockholm, Sweden. Kovalevskaya was considered one of the most brilliant mathematicians of her time, having established the first significant result in general theory of partial differential equations. She received the Prix Bordin for a paper on the rotation of a solid body around a fixed point. During her lifetime, Kovalevskaya was awarded a prize from the Swedish Academy of Sciences, was elected a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, and became the first European woman in history to hold a lifetime appointment as a professor. Kovalevskaya died on February 10, 1891, from pneumonia.