Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891) was a Russian mathematician, the first woman in her home country to have that occupation, and the first woman in Northern Europe to be appointed to a full professorship. She had important original contributions in the field of mathematics, concerning analysis, partial differential equations and mechanics.
As women were not allowed to study at university in Russia during her time, she emigrated to Germany to complete her education, and was awarded a doctorate summa cum laude in 1874. Even then, she was not permitted to become a lecturer like she wanted, and only managed to secure a position as a ‘Professor Extraordinarius’ at Stockholm University ten years later. She was eventually granted a Chair in the Russian Academy of Sciences as a result of its rules being altered to allow it.