◀ ▲ ▶History / 19th-century / Person: Schubert, Hermann Cäsar Hannibal
Person: Schubert, Hermann Cäsar Hannibal
Hermann Schubert was a German mathematiciaan who worked on parts of algebraic geometry that involve a finite number of solutions. This is called Enumerative Geometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Hermann was brought up in Potsdam where he attended the Gymnasium.
- After the award of his doctorate, Schubert qualified to become a mathematics teacher and was appointed to the Andreanum Gymnasium in Hildesheim in 1872.
- Schubert is famed for his work on enumerative geometry which considers those parts of algebraic geometry that involves a finite number of solutions.
- Schubert's achievement was to combine this procedure, which he called "the principle of conservation of number", with the Chasles correspondence principle, thus establishing the foundation of a calculus.
- With the aid of this calculus, which he modelled on Ernst Schröder's logical calculus, Schubert was able to solve many problems systematically.
- Some remarkable counting results of Schubert were neglected for many years for their lack of rigour but recently many of them have been confirmed.
- It appears that although the principal of conservation of the number as stated by Schubert was false, and counter-examples were given by Study, nevertheless Schubert knew exactly what he was doing and his use of the principal was always in cases where it is valid.
- Schubert was editor of Sammlung Schubert, a series of textbooks.
- Given Schubert's outstanding mathematical contributions, it is natural to ask why he remained a school teacher and never became a university professor.
- Although Hamburg had no university during the time that Schubert taught in the Andreanum, nevertheless it did have the Hamburg Mathematical Society, founded in 1690, the oldest mathematical society in the world which still exists today.
- In addition to his research and textbook writing, Schubert was very interested in recreational mathematics and games, in particular chess and skat.
- The monistic construction of arithmetic, the systematic and organic development of all its consequences from a few thoroughly established principles, is quite foreign to the general run of American and English elementary text-books, and the first three essays of Professor Schubert will, therefore, from a logical and aesthetic side, be full of suggestions for elementary mathematical teachers and students, as well as for non-mathematical readers.
- For the actual detailed development of the system of arithmetic here sketched, we may refer the reader to Professor Schubert's volume Arithmetik und Algebra ...
- In all these essays, which are of a simple and popular character, and designed for the general public, Professor Schubert has incorporated much of his original research.
- We should note that Frege was highly critical of Schubert's approach to numbers.
- He wrote Über die Zahlen des Herrn H Schubert Ⓣ(On the numbers of Mr H Schubert) (1899) which is a bitter satire with little or no scientific impact although it is very witty in places.
- Frege's article is a negative, sarcastic and a very destructive attack on Schubert's article.
Born 22 May 1848, Potsdam,Prussia (now Germany). Died 20 July 1911, Hamburg, Germany.
View full biography at MacTutor
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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