**(September 3, 1814 – March 15, 1897)**

A proponent of women’s tertiary education, James Joseph Sylvester was an indefatigable genius who overcame unending barriers. Aged 14, he matriculated in London before switching to Cambridge. And despite being the *Second Wrangler* in Cambridge’s Tripos exam, he was denied his degree just for being Jewish. He would also be refused professorship at New York’s Columbia University for the same reason. Institutionalized discriminations, which were rampant then in Euro-American scientific communities, drove him into the legal profession. Still, his love for maths remained. He befriended Arthur Cayley: a successful scholar who shared unquenchable appetite for algebra. Together they developed the Invariant Theory. He would also make decisive contributions to Matrix Theory, Partition Theory, Number Theory, Combinatorics, Mechanics, and even Literature. These, alongside his other scientific works, prompted both Johns Hopkins University (U.S.A.) and Oxford University (U.K.) to woo him. He founded the *American Journal of Mathematics* while at Johns Hopkins, and would retain his Savilian Chair of Geometry (at Oxford) until incapacitated by ill-health in 1894. Apart from being remembered for his formulae, concepts and theorems, James Joseph Sylvester was frequently likened to Gottfried von Leibniz due to his knack for coining terms like: graph, matrix, invariant, covariant and discriminant. He is the eponym of the *Sylvester’s sequence*, the Royal Society’s *Sylvester Medal*, the 58-kilometer-wide *Sylvester* lunar crater, the *13658 Sylvester* asteroid, and the *Sylvester Library*: which is a vector, matrix and geometry library for JavaScript. William Durfee (who introduced *Durfee squares* to Number Theory) is one of his illustrious students.

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A genius and a fighter who defeated all obstacles.

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Three hearty cheers to one of the best brains of his era!

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