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Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya (Moscow, 1850 – Stockholm, 1891) was the first important Russian mathematician. She was of Romani ancestry and the descendant of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary. Her grandfather lost the hereditary title of prince for marrying a Romani woman and being related to such ethnicity. Her father did not allow her to study and she married so that she could go to university; however, women were only allowed to attend as observers. She ended up being the first woman to secure a position as a university lecturer in Europe (Stockholm, 1881).