Person: Mayer (2), Christian Adolph
Christian Adolph Mayer was a German mathematician who worked on differential equations, the calculus of variations and mechanics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Mayer studied at the Thomas Gymnasium in Leipzig, completing his studies in the autumn of 1857.
- After the year, Mayer returned to the University of Heidelberg where he was fascinated by the lectures of Otto Hesse, and, after spending one semester at Leipzig, he completed his doctorate at Heidelberg with the degree being awarded on 14 December 1861.
- Following the award of his doctorate, Mayer went to Königsberg in 1862 where he worked under Friedrich Julius Richelot (1808-1875), a student of Jacobi, and Franz Neumann who was a student of Richelot.
- It was Richelot who advised Mayer to undertake research on the calculus of variation, and he followed this advice working on this topic for the rest of his life.
- Another student at Königsberg, also working on his habilitation thesis, was Heinrich Weber; he and Mayer became close friends.
- Mayer remained at Königsberg until 1865, then he returned to his home town of Leipzig and submitted his habilitation thesis Beiträge zur Theorie der Maxima und Minima einfacher Integrale Ⓣ(Contributions to the theory of maxima and minima of simple integrals) to that university and gained the right to teach at universities in December 1866.
- In the Mathematical Exercises, to which he devoted much time and energy, Mayer took great care that the tasks he set were actually solved using established or derived principles and not with ad hoc tricks which achieved the goal in a roundabout way.
- Mayer was promoted to an honorary ordinary professorship in 1881 and a full ordinary professorship in 1890.
- Mayer volunteered to serve his country and was a nurse for the duration of the conflict.
- Mayer worked on differential equations, the calculus of variations and mechanics.
- Engel received his doctorate from Leipzig in 1883 after studying under Mayer and writing a thesis on contact transformations.
- Mayer was connected with the whole episode through his friendship with Klein, both being editors of Mathematische Annalen, and perhaps most significantly since his work was closely related to that of Lie.
- The letters provide insights into the scientific and personal relations among Klein, Mayer and Lie over the period.
- through the subsequent works of Mayer, Lie's achievements became famous relatively quickly.
- Much of the material in the letters between Mayer and Klein discuss their editorial work on the journal Mathematische Annalen.
- Mayer received many honours for his contributions.
- Mayer had a home in Leipzig where he entertained friends, colleagues and guests during the academic session.
Born 15 February 1839, Leipzig, Germany. Died 11 April 1908, Gries bei Bozen, Austria (now Bolzano, Italy).
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive