Marya Sklodovski was born into an impoverished intellectual family in Warsaw, Poland. She excelled in physics and mathematics at the Gymnasium and was awarded a gold medal upon her graduation at age 16. In 1891, she enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris under the name Marie Sklodovska. In 1893 she came in first in her master’s examinations in the physical sciences. The next year she placed second in her examination in the mathematical sciences. In 1895 she married Pierre curie, a French Physics professor at the Sorbonne. Their experimentation led to the discovery of polonium and radium. Marie received her doctorate of science in 1903 and that same year she and Pierre shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with A.H. Becquerel for the discovery of radioactivity. In 1911 Marie Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the isolation of pure radium. Her work paved the way for important subsequent discoveries by nuclear physicists and chemists.