◀ ▲ ▶History / 19th-century / Person: Petersen, Julius Peter Christian
Person: Petersen, Julius Peter Christian
Julius Petersen was a Danish mathematician who worked on geometry and graph theory. He is best remembered for the Petersen graph.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Julius first attended a private school in Soro then, in 1849, he entered Soro Academy School.
- Most of the pupils at the school were boarders but the school also admitted some day pupils like Julius who lived in the town.
- He was considered a good teacher of mathematics, but school teaching did present a great problem to Petersen for he seemed incapable of controlling the pupils.
- Petersen was awarded his doctorate in 1871.
- Petersen corresponded with Sylow during 1870-71, mostly about this result.
- His friend and colleague at the University of Copenhagen was Zeuthen who was almost exactly the same age as Petersen.
- Petersen also taught at the Officers School of the Army from 1881 to 1887.
- Petersen was enthusiastic about such matters and joined a committee to support Georg Brandes but this was short lived.
- Petersen joined the National Economic Society and translated an economics text by Henry Fawcett into Danish.
- These days Petersen's theorem is always proven indirectly using major results such as Hall's theorem from 1935 and Tutte's theorem on 1-factors from 1947.
- Although the Petersen graph is usually the first time an undergraduate will today come across his name, this does not appear in this 1891 masterpiece.
- It is reasonable to ask why Petersen began working in graph theory.
- the work of Petersen and Zeuthen is regarded as being responsible for the emergence of Danish mathematics on the international scene towards the end of the 19th century.
- In the last part of his career, from 1888 to 1909, Petersen worked on function theory, latin squares, and number theory.
- Petersen contributed to many areas other than mathematics, some of which we have mentioned above.
- Petersen was also a founder member of the Danish Mathematical Society, which came into existence in 1873, and he remained a very active member of the Society.
Born 16 June 1839, Soro, Denmark. Died 5 August 1910, Copenhagen, Denmark.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive