Famous 19th Century German Mathematicians

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Find out more about the greatest 19th Century German Mathematicians, including Carl Friedrich Gauss, Friedrich Engels, David Hilbert, Georg Cantor and Emmy Noether.
Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century German Mathematicians
 1 
Carl F. Gauss
(One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Tim)
Carl F. Gauss
25
Birthdate: April 30, 1777
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brunswick, Germany
Died: February 23, 1855

German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss is remembered for his work in math and science. Known as the Princeps mathematicorum, he laid down tenets such as the Gauss's Law. He had exhibited his talent since an early age and had completed writing Disquisitiones Arithmeticae by 21.

 2 
David Hilbert
(Mathematician)
David Hilbert
15
Birthdate: January 23, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Königsberg or Wehlau, Province of Prussia (today Znamensk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
Died: February 14, 1943

German mathematician David Hilbert was first drawn to math inspired by his mother, who was a budding math enthusiast. He contributed to a host of concepts, theories, and postulates, such as Hilbert space, Hilbert's program, and Hilbert's problems. He died in oblivion, with a handful of people at his funeral.

 3 
Georg Cantor
(Mathematician)
Georg Cantor
12
Birthdate: March 3, 1845
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died: January 6, 1918
Georg Cantor is remembered as the man behind the set theory of mathematics. Not known to many, he was a skilled violinist, too. He was one of the first to explore infinity. His final years were riddled with mental ailments, when he believed Shakespeare’s plays were written by Francis Bacon.
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 4 
Bernhard Riemann
(Mathematician)
Bernhard Riemann
10
Birthdate: September 17, 1826
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Breselenz
Died: July 20, 1866

Bernhard Riemann was a German mathematician best remembered for his contributions to number theory, analysis, and differential geometry. His paper on the prime-counting function, which was published in 1859, is considered one of the most influential papers in the history of analytic number theory. Riemann is widely regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians ever.

 5 
Gottlob Frege
(Philosopher)
Gottlob Frege
5
Birthdate: November 8, 1848
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wismar, Germany
Died: July 26, 1925
 6 
Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi
(German Mathematician Who Founded the Theory of Elliptic Functions)
Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: February 18, 1851

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi was a German mathematician best remembered for his contributions to differential equations, dynamics, number theory, determinants, and elliptic functions. He is the first Jewish mathematician to work as a professor at a German university. Jacobi has a crater on the Moon named after him in recognition of his contribution to science.

 7 
Karl Weierstrass
(Mathematician)
Karl Weierstrass
4
Birthdate: October 31, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ennigerloh
Died: February 19, 1897

Karl Weierstrass was a German mathematician best remembered for his significant contributions to mathematics. Often referred to as the father of modern analysis, Weierstrass proved the Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem and the intermediate value theorem. He also authorized the definition of continuous function. The asteroid 14100 Weierstrass and the lunar crater Weierstrass are named after him.

 8 
Edmund Husserl
(German Philosopher, Mathematician and Founder of Phenomenology)
Edmund Husserl
4
Birthdate: April 8, 1859
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prostějov, Czechia
Died: April 27, 1938

Edmund Husserl was a German philosopher of Moravian origin. He established the school of phenomenology. He studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the University of Leipzig and worked as an assistant to mathematician Karl Weierstrass. He later became a professor of philosophy and taught for several years. He is considered a major figure in 20th-century philosophy.  

 9 
Georg Ohm
(Physicist & Mathematician)
Georg Ohm
5
Birthdate: March 16, 1789
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Erlangen, Germany
Died: July 6, 1854

Georg Ohm was a German mathematician and physicist. He is credited with discovering the proportionality between the voltage applied through a conductor and the subsequent electric current, which came to be known as Ohm's law. His work earned him the prestigious Copley Medal in 1841. A prolific writer, Georg Ohm published several papers and pamphlets throughout his career.

 10 
Hermann Minkowski
(German Mathematician and Professor Who Created and Developed the Geometry of Numbers)
Hermann Minkowski
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1864
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kaunas, Lithuania
Died: January 12, 1909

Hermann Minkowski was a mathematician who served as a professor at the University of Göttingen, the University of Königsberg, and the University of Zurich. He is credited with creating and developing the geometry of numbers. He is also credited with using geometrical methods to resolve problems in the theory of relativity, mathematical physics, and number theory.

 11 
Karl Schwarzschild
(Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, University teacher, Mathematician)
Karl Schwarzschild
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: May 11, 1916

Karl Schwarzschild was a German astronomer and physicist. He is remembered for his contributions to the general theory of relativity; Schwarzschild came up with the first exact solution to the Albert Einstein field equations. He also contributed immensely to the theory of black holes.

 12 
Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet
(German Mathematician Who Made Valuable Contributions to Number Theory, Analysis and Mechanics)
Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1805
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Düren, Germany
Died: May 5, 1859

German mathematician Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet is remembered for his invaluable contribution to number theory. He pioneered the concept of a function, expressed through the equation y = f (x). Though his parents wanted him to become a merchant, his mastery of math made them change their minds.

 13 
Richard Dedekind
(German Mathematician Known for His Important Contributions to Number Theory, Abstract Algebra and Modern Set Theory)
Richard Dedekind
3
Birthdate: October 6, 1831
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brunswick, Germany
Died: February 12, 1916

German mathematician Richard Dedekind is best remembered for his ideas on the real number and infinity. Initially interested in subjects such as physics and chemistry, he later deviated to math. He taught at various institutes and was awarded honorary doctorates from universities of Zurich, Oslo, and Braunschweig.

 14 
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
(German Mathematician and Engineer Whose Research on AC Systems Revolutionized the US Electric Industry)
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
3
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: October 26, 1923

Though German-born American mathematician and engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz suffered from a deformed back since childhood, he excelled in math, physics, and classical literature. His ideas on alternating current (AC) systems initiated the electrical era in the US. By the time he died, he had over 200 patents under his name.

 15 
Felix Christian Klein
(Mathematician)
Felix Christian Klein
3
Birthdate: April 25, 1849
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Düsseldorf
Died: June 22, 1925

Felix Christian Klein was a German mathematician and educator remembered for his work on complex analysis, group theory, and non-Euclidean geometry. He is also popular for his work on the relationship between group theory and geometry. He is credited with teaching advanced courses to students like Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro, who went on to become a renowned mathematician in his own right.

 16 
Emanuel Lasker
(Chess player)
Emanuel Lasker
9
Birthdate: December 24, 1868
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Barlinek, Poland
Died: January 11, 1941
 17 
Rudolf Clausius
(Physicist, University teacher, Mathematician, Theoretical physicist)
Rudolf Clausius
3
Birthdate: January 2, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Koszalin
Died: August 24, 1888

Rudolf Clausius was a German mathematician and physicist. He is credited with formulating the second law of thermodynamics; he is widely regarded as one of the principal founders of the science of thermodynamics. He taught physics at the Artillery and Engineering School in Berlin.

 18 
Gotthold Eisenstein
(Mathematician)
Gotthold Eisenstein
2
Birthdate: April 16, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 11, 1852
 19 
Leopold Kronecker
(Mathematician, University teacher)
Leopold Kronecker
4
Birthdate: December 7, 1823
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Legnica
Died: December 29, 1891

German mathematician Leopold Kronecker is best remembered for his pioneering work on the theory of equations and algebra. Interestingly, he wasn’t too keen on academic research initially and focused on his land business, while simultaneously pursuing math as a hobby. He could only focus on math after retiring at 30.

August Ferdinand Möbius
3
Birthplace: Pforta

August Ferdinand Möbius was a German theoretical astronomer and mathematician. He is best remembered for his discovery of the Möbius strip, the simplest non-orientable surface. He is also remembered for introducing the Barycentric coordinate system. Several mathematical concepts like the Möbius transformations and the Möbius plane are named in his honor.

 21 
Carl Ludwig Siegel
(Mathematician)
Carl Ludwig Siegel
1
Birthdate: December 31, 1896
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, German Empire
Died: April 4, 1981
 22 
Friedrich Bessel
(German Astronomer, Mathematician, Physicist, and Geodesist)
Friedrich Bessel
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1784
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Minden, Germany
Died: March 17, 1846

Friedrich Bessel was a German mathematician, astronomer, geodesist, and physicist. He was the first astronomer to use the method of parallax in order to determine the distance of a star from the sun. Bessel was a much-respected figure during his time. He was honored with the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

 23 
Richard Courant
(Mathematician, University teacher)
Richard Courant
2
Birthdate: January 8, 1888
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lubliniec
Died: January 27, 1972
 24 
Edmund Landau
(Former Mathematician known for Distribution of prime numbers, Landau prime ideal theorem)
Edmund Landau
2
Birthdate: February 14, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: February 19, 1938
 25 
Hermann Grassmann
(German Polymath Best Known for His Work as a Mathematician)
Hermann Grassmann
2
Birthdate: April 15, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Szczecin, Poland
Died: September 26, 1877

Hermann Grassmann was a German polymath remembered for his work in linear algebra, although he wasn’t acknowledged as a mathematician for most part of his life. His work Die lineale Ausdehnungslehre, ein neuer Zweig der Mathematik was revolutionary in the field of mathematics and was far ahead of its time. During his lifetime, he was only known as a linguist.

 26 
Felix Hausdorff
(Mathematician, Writer, Topologist, University teacher)
Felix Hausdorff
2
Birthdate: November 8, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: January 26, 1942

While German mathematician Felix Hausdorff initially wished to become a musician, parental pressure led him to choose math. Considered one of the pioneers of modern topology, he made major contributions to set theory and functional analysis. He died of suicide, along with his wife and sister-in-law, instead of moving to a Nazi camp.

 27 
Ernst Zermelo
(Former Mathematician, Logician known for his role in developing Zermelo–Fraenkel axiomatic set theory and his proof of the well-ordering theorem)
Ernst Zermelo
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: May 21, 1953
 28 
Ferdinand Georg Frobenius
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1849
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany
Died: August 3, 1917
Ferdinand von Lindemann
2
Birthplace: Hanover
 30 
Ernst Kummer
(Mathematician)
Ernst Kummer
2
Birthdate: January 29, 1810
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Żary, Poland
Died: May 14, 1893
Julius Plücker
2
Rudolf Lipschitz
2
 33 
Hermann Schwarz
(Mathematician)
Hermann Schwarz
1
Birthdate: January 25, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jerzmanowa, Poland
Died: November 30, 1921
Johann Friedrich Pfaff
1
Carl Neumann
1
Franz Ernst Neumann
1
 37 
Carsten Niebuhr
(German Explorer Who Was the Sole Survivor of the Royal Danish Arabia Expedition)
Carsten Niebuhr
1
Birthdate: March 17, 1733
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ludingworth, Germany
Died: April 26, 1815
Elwin Bruno Christoffel
1
 39 
Max Dehn
1
 40 
Moritz Cantor
(Historian)
Moritz Cantor
1
Birthdate: August 23, 1829
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany
Died: April 10, 1920
 41 
Martin Kutta
(Mathematician)
Martin Kutta
1
Birthdate: November 3, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Byczyna, Poland
Died: December 25, 1944

German mathematician Martin Kutta was known for his association with reputed institutes such as the University of Stuttgart and RWTH Aachen as a professor. He is perhaps best known for co-developing the Runge–Kutta method, which paved the way for solution of differential equations numerically.

 42 
Kurt Heegner
(Mathematician)
Kurt Heegner
1
Birthdate: December 16, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: February 2, 1965
 43 
Peter Andreas Hansen
(German Astronomer)
Peter Andreas Hansen
1
Birthdate: December 8, 1795
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tonder, Schleswig, Denmark
Died: March 28, 1874

Born to a goldsmith, Peter Andreas Hansen had initially learned the art of watchmaking. However, his skills as an astronomer eventually earned him the post of the director of the Seeberg Observatory near Gotha. His best-known works are related to optics, probability theory, and the motion of the Moon.

 44 
Karl Georg Christian von Staudt
0
Birthdate: January 24, 1798
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Died: June 1, 1867
 45 
Oskar Bolza
(Mathematician)
Oskar Bolza
0
Birthdate: May 12, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bad Bergzabern, Germany
Died: July 5, 1942
 46 
August Leopold Crelle
(Mathematician)
August Leopold Crelle
0
Birthdate: March 17, 1780
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wriezen, Germany
Died: October 6, 1855