February 15, 1883|
Hildesheim, German Empire
|Fields||Mathematics (algebraic geometry)|
|Alma mater||University of Göttingen|
|Thesis||Über den Satz, daß eine ebene, algebraische Kurve 6. Ordnung mit 11 sich einander ausschließenden Ovalen nicht existiert [On the proposition that no plane algebraic curve of degree 6 with 11 mutually exclusive ovals exists] (1910)|
|Doctoral advisor||David Hilbert|
Life and work
In 1904, Löbenstein, along with another female candidate, her future friend friend Margarete Kahn, was given permission to take her Abitur at the Royal Gymnasium in Bad Hersfeld. Thus she belonged to the small elite of young women in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century who were allowed to take the Abitur externally at boys' schools. Konrad Duden signed their Abitur certificate as school principal.
Since Prussia began to allow women to formally attend university only from the winter semester of 1908–09, the two women first attended the universities of Berlin and Göttingen as guest students. They studied mathematics, physics, and propaedeutics at Berlin and Göttingen. Löbenstein's field of expertise was algebraic geometry. Together with Kahn she made a contribution to Hilbert's sixteenth problem. Hilbert's sixteenth problem concerned the topology of algebraic curves in the complex projective plane; as a difficult special case in his formulation of the problem Hilbert proposed that there are no algebraic curves of degree 6 consisting of 11 separate ovals. Löbenstein and Kahn developed methods to address this problem.
Löbenstein obtained a doctorate in 1910 under David Hilbert in Göttingen, with a dissertation titled Über den Satz, daß eine ebene, algebraische Kurve 6. Ordnung mit 11 sich einander ausschließenden Ovalen nicht existiert [On the proposition that no plane algebraic curve of degree 6 with 11 mutually exclusive ovals exists], and was therefore one of the first German women to obtain a doctorate in mathematics (the mathematics division was part of the faculty of philosophy then). She took her oral examination – again, along with Kahn – on June 30, 1909. Afterwards Löbenstein worked as a high school teacher in Metz and Landsberg. She was dismissed on January 1, 1936 due to the Nazi racial laws. In 1941 she emigrated to Argentina.
- Löbenstein, Klara (1910). "Über den Satz, daß eine ebene, algebraische Kurve 6. Ordnung mit 11 sich einander ausschließenden Ovalen nicht existiert" [On the proposition that no plane algebraic curve of degree 6 with 11 mutually exclusive ovals exists]. Doctoral dissertation, University of Göttingen (in German).
- König, York-Egbert; Prauss, Christina; Tobies, Renate (2011). Margarete Kahn und Klara Löbenstein [Margarete Kahn and Klara Löbenstein] (in German). Hentrich & Hentrich. ISBN 3-942-27123-0.
- "Kurzbiographien L" [Short biographies L] (in German). German Mathematical Society.
- König, York-Egbert (January 4, 2009). Ein Leben für die Mathematik – Vor 90 Jahren legte Grete Kahn als erste Eschwegerin die Doktorprüfung ab [A life for mathematics – 90 years ago Grete Kahn was the first woman from Eschwege to earn a doctorate] (in German). vghessen.de. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- Mathematics Genealogy Project