Ernst Kötter

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Ernst Kötter
Born (1859-08-07)7 August 1859
Died 26 January 1922(1922-01-26) (aged 62)[1]
Residence Berlin, Aachen (Germany)
Alma mater Berlin University
Awards Price of the Berlin Royal Academy, 1886
Scientific career
Fields Mathematician
Thesis Zur Theorie der Osculationen bei ebenen Curven 3. Ordnung (1884)
Academic advisors Weierstraß, Kronecker

Ernst Kötter was a German mathematician who graduated in 1884 from Berlin University. His treatise "Fundamentals of a purely geometrical theory of algebraic plane curves" gained the 1886 prize of the Berlin Royal Academy.[2] In 1901, he published his report on "The development of synthetic geometry from Monge to Staudt (1847)";[3] it had been sent to the press as early as 1897, but completion was deferred by Kötter's appointment to Aachen University and a subsequent persisting illness.[4] He constructed a mobile wood model to illustrate the theorems of Dandelin spheres.[5][6]

In a discussion with Schoenflies and Kötter, Hilbert reportedly uttered his famous quotation according to which points, lines, and planes in geometry could be named as well "tables, chairs, and beer mugs".[7]



  1. ^ German National Library: Record Xml
  2. ^ Norman Fraser (Feb 1888). "Kötter's synthetic geometry of algebraic curves". Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society. 7: 46–61. doi:10.1017/s0013091500030364.  Here: p.46
  3. ^ Ernst Kötter (1901). Die Entwickelung der Synthetischen Geometrie von Monge bis auf Staudt (1847).  (2012 Reprint as ISBN 1275932649)
  4. ^ Kötter (1901), Preface, p.VIII
  5. ^ "Vermischtes (Miscellany)". Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung. 16: 82. 1907. 
  6. ^ Illustration of Groningen University
  7. ^ Otto Blumenthal (1935). David Hilbert, ed. Lebensgeschichte. Gesammelte Abhandlungen. 3. Julius Springer. pp. 388–429.  Here: p.402-403