Constantin Carathéodory: Mathematics and Politics in Turbulent Times

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Springer Science & Business Media, 2 de jul. 2004 - 651 pàgines
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Constantin Carathéodory - Mathematics and Politics in Turbulent Times is the biography of a mathematician, born in Berlin in 1873, who became famous during his life time, but has hitherto been ignored by historians for half a century since his death in 1950, in Munich.

In a thought-provoking approach, Maria Georgiadou devotes to Constantin Carathéodory all the attention such a personality deserves. With breathtaking detail and the appropriate scrutiny she elucidates his oeuvre, life and turbulent political and historical surroundings. A descendant of the the Greek élite of Constantinople, Carathéodory graduated from the military school of Brussels, became engineer at the Assiout dam in Egypt and finally dedicated a life of effort to mathematics and education. He studied and embarked on an international academic career, haunted by wars, catastrophes and personal tragedies. Over the last years of his life, he stayed in Munich despite World War II, an ambiguous decision upon which the author sheds unprecedented light.

Carathéodory's most significant mathematical contributions were to the calculus of variations, the theory of point set measure and the theory of functions of a real variable, pde's, also to complex function theory.

The interdisciplinary nature of the text allows easy access for both scholars and readers with a general interest in mathematics, politics and history. The thoroughness of the author’s research and evaluations is certain to leave everyone impressed and more knowledgeable.

 

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