Karl Weierstrass lectures
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of one bound holographic manuscript titled "Theorie der Variationsrechnung. Vorlesung gehalten im Somersemester 1879 von Prof. Dr. C. Weierstrass." (Theory of variation accounting. Lectures given during the summer semester of 1879 by Prof. dr. C. Weierstrass.) The manuscript is written in German and is not translated. The subject of the lectures, presented at the University of Berlin, is calculus of variations. It is likely that this was a copy of the circulating manuscripts of Weierstrass lectures. The manuscript was later published in the series of Weierstrasss's Works: Rudolf Rothe ed., Vorlesungen über Variationsrechnung von Karl Weierstrass, (Leipzig: Akademische Verlaggesellschaft M.B.H., 1927). [QA3 .W4] The manuscript belonged to Thomas Craig (1855-1900). It is not clear if Thomas Craig was a student in the Weierstrass summer course. On the title page of the manuscript is the name of H. [Hugo] Maser, one of the editors of Weierstrass's later published collective lectures. Before Weierstrass took responsibility for the publication of his lectures, circulating copies were issued by The Mathematical Society of Berlin University.
- Creation: 1879
- Weierstrass, Karl, 1815-1897 (Person)
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This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.
This collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Biographical / Historical
Karl Theodor Wilhelm Weierstrass was born in Osterfelde, Westphalia (Germany) on October 31, 1815. Weierstrass was regarded as the most famous mathematician in 19th-century Germany after Carl Friedrich Gauss and Bernhard Riemann. He received his education at the Catholic Gymnasium in Paderborn, the University of Bonn, and he graduated from the Theological and Philosophical Academy at Münster in 1841.
Karl Weierstrass started his professional career by teaching in Latin schools (Gymnasium). He spent most of this period teaching in Braunsberg until 1855. His university career started in the following year when the Industry Institute (Berlin) appointed him as a professor. In 1857 Karl Weierstrass became professor at the University of Berlin where he remained until his retirement. The University of Koningsberg awarded him a honorary doctorship in 1854 for his mathematical articles, and in 1856 the Berlin Academy elected him as a member.
Weierstrass's major contributions to the field of mathematics were his new elaborations and new applications of the Abelian functions. Since he was the only professor in Germany teaching these courses and new theories, he attracted many students and faculty from all over the country, and his skill in lecturing was later described as "masterly". He became dissatisfied with the circulating transcripts of his lectures and in the way his theories were applied in textbooks. Weierstrass began to publish his courses with the aid of some of his promising students. Seven volumes of his lectures were published; five were published after his death (1897). (Mathematische Werke, 7 vols. Berlin, 1894-1927)
Karl Theodor Wilhelm Weierstrass died in Berlin February 19, 1897.
Biographical / Historical
Thomas Craig was born in Pittston, PA on December 20, 1855. He graduated from Lafayette College (1875) with a degree in civil engineering and received the Ph.D. in mathematics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1879. Craig was a student of Hopkins Professor of Mathematics, James Joseph Sylvester and was later appointed to the faculty. Craig was appointed Professor of Mathematics in 1892, a position he held until his death on May 8, 1900. Thomas Graig published many articles and books, one of them being a book on linear equations.
0.24 Cubic Feet (1 legal half-size document box)
Language of Materials
Karl Theodor Wilhelm Weierstrass was born in Osterfelde, Westphalia (Germany) on October 31, 1815. Weierstrass was a famous mathematician in 19th-century Germany. The collection consists of one bound holographic manuscript titled "Theorie der Variationsrechnung. Vorlesung gehalten im Somersemester 1879 von Prof. Dr. C. Weierstrass." (Theory of variation accounting. Lectures given during the summer semester of 1879 by Prof. dr. C. Weierstrass.) The manuscript is written in German and is not translated.
This collection was cataloged in 1917 and shelved in the Stacks; the call number was QA 315 .W4. It was transferred to Special Collections in November 1992. The Accession Number is 92-93.11.
The manuscript was given to the University by Thomas Craig.
Johnson, Allen and Dumas Malone eds., Dictionary of American Biography, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, w.d.), 2:496.
Rothe, Rudolf ed., Vorlesungen über Variationsrechnung von Karl Weierstrass, (Leipzig: Akademische Verlaggesellschaft M.B.H., 1927).
Finding aid prepared by Ernst Pijning in April 1993.
- Karl Weierstrass lectures
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
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