Julia Robinson and Hilbert's Tenth Problem

About This Episode


Narrated by actress Danica McKellar, Julia Robinson and Hilbert's Tenth Problem presents the inspiring life story of the pioneering American mathematician Julia Robinson (1919-1985) and charts her major contribution to solving one of the 20th century's most vexing mathematical questions - Hilbert's Tenth.

Julia Robinson, a pioneer among American women in mathematics, rose to prominence in a field where often she was the only woman. She was not only the first woman elected to the mathematical section of the National Academy of Sciences but the first woman to become president of the American Mathematical Society. Robinson's major contribution to the solution of H10 triggered a tour of 20th century mathematics moving from Paris, through the United States, to the Soviet Union and back. The documentary is pieced together by an array of archival footage, stills and recordings, recollections from other mathematicians - including the three others responsible for solving H10 - and warm reminiscences by her sister/biographer, Constance Reid.