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David Hilbert

David HilbertBorn: 23-Jan-1862
Birthplace: Königsberg, East Prussia
Died: 14-Feb-1943
Location of death: Göttingen, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Göttingen City Cemetery, Göttingen, Germany

Gender: Male
Religion: Agnostic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Mathematician, Physicist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Hilbert Space

German mathematician David Hilbert was among the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century, conducting landmark research in algebraic number field theory, axiomatics of geometry and mathematics, integral equations, invariant theory, and mathematical physics. He was born in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia), studied at the University of Königsberg, and made at least two major "study tours" of Europe, meeting and mingling with the leading scientists of his era.

In 1891 he described a continuous fractal space-filling curve, now called Hilbert's curve. His 1897 treatise Zahlbericht (Commentary about Numbers) concisely detailed and advanced algebraic number theory. In 1899 he presented a more accurate and complete axiomatization of Euclidean geometry than Euclid's own. In "The Problems of Mathematics", a famous speech delivered at the International Mathematical Congress on 8 August 1900 in Paris, he laid out ten un-resolved mathematical problems (now called Hilbert's problems) for the world's brightest minds to ponder. When published in book form, the list of problems was expanded to 23, several of which remain unresolved to this day. His 1909 work on integral equations laid the groundwork for virtually all subsequent research into functional analysis, and framed his work on infinite-dimensional space, now called Hilbert space. He is also known for Hilbert's Paradox of the Grand Hotel, a mathematical paradox involving a hotel with an infinite number of rooms and an infinite number of guests.

Father: Otto Hilbert (judge)
Mother: Maria Erdtmann Hilbert (amateur mathematician)
Wife: Käthe Jerosch (his second cousin; m. 12-Oct-1892, one son)
Son: Franz (b. 11-Aug-1893, d. 1969)

    University: PhD Mathematics, University of Königsberg (1885)
    Lecturer: Mathematics, University of Königsberg (1886-92)
    Teacher: Mathematics, University of Königsberg (1892-93)
    Professor: Mathematics, University of Königsberg (1893-95)
    Professor: Mathematics, University of Göttingen (1895-1930)

    Bolyai Prize 1910
    Mittag-Leffler Prize 1939
    London Mathematical Society Foreign Member (1901)
    Royal Society 1928
    German Mathematical Society 1942
    German Ancestry
    Lunar Crater Hilbert (17.9° S 108.2° E, 151 km. diameter)

Author of books:
Zahlbericht (Commentary about Numbers) (1897, mathematics)
Grundlagen der Geometrie (The Foundations of Geometry) (1899, mathematics)
Gesammelte Abhandlungen (Collected Essays) (1932-35, mathematics; 3 volumes)


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