Google's search doodles often highlight the trail blazers that have changed the world. Google on Wednesday celebrated Italian philosopher and theologian Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia. Drawn up by Californian artist Alyssa Winans, Wednesday's doodle shows Elena Cornaro Piscopia, a female scholar from Venice, Italy who in 1678 became the first woman in the world to be awarded with a doctorate. The doodle shows Piscopia with her head in a book in a library, with Winans hoping to show how Elena was happiest "when she was able to study undisturbed.
Today marks her 373rd birthday. Cue the "tanti auguri a te!"
She said to be the first women to earn a PHD or doctorate degree and that too, at a time when the church did not view women studying theology and philosophy. By the time Elena was seven; her parents had recognized her giftedness. A family friend encouraged them to give her lesson in Greek and Latin. She also mastered Hebrew and Arabic, earning the title of "Oraculum Septilingue".
Her later studies included mathematics, philosophy and theology. Elena came to be an expert musician. She mastered the harpsichord, the clavichord, the harp and the violin. Her skills were shown by the music that she composed in her lifetime.
After becoming President of Venetian society Accadmia dei Pacifici, she enrolled at the University of Padua in 1972. Her thesis defense -an oral test in front of examiners and the public - was so well attended it had to be moved to the local cathedral. She passed with flying colors and wrote her name in the history books on June 25, 1678.
Elena passed away just six years later, after battling tuberculosis.