Frank Natterer

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Frank Natterer
Born (1941-07-20) 20 July 1941 (age 76)
Wangen im Allgäu, Germany
Nationality German
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Doctoral advisor Lothar Collatz

Frank Natterer (July 20, 1941) is a German mathematician. He was born in Wangen im Allgäu, Germany. Natterer pioneered and shaped the field of mathematical methods in imaging including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonic imaging).[1][2]


After studies at the Universities of Freiburg and Hamburg Frank Natterer in 1968 earned his PhD with a thesis “Einschließungen für die großen Eigenwerte gewöhnlicher Differentialgleichungen zweiter und vierter Ordnung“[3] under the supervision of Prof. Lothar Collatz. In 1971, he made the habilitation “Verallgemeinerte Splines und singuläre Rand-Eigenwertaufgaben gewöhnlicher Differentialgleichungen“. Following a visiting assistant professorship at Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana (USA) he was full professor at the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken (Germany), from 1973-1981. He was Director of the “Institut für Numerische und instrumentelle Mathematik” of the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster, Germany, from 1981 until he retired from active teaching in 2006.[4]

In 2002, he received an honorary doctorate at Universität des Saarlandes in recognition of his leading role and achievements in the field of mathematical methods in imaging.[1][5]

He has published close to 100 scientific papers and two books and is in possession of numerous patents.[6] He has 19 scientific descendants,[7] some of whom hold professorships in Germany or the USA.

Scientific work[edit]

In 1975, Natterer proved pointwise convergence of finite element methods.[8] Starting in 1977, he focused on mathematical methods in computed tomography. In this field, he not only developed algorithms but also worked on tomographic scanners.[9] His two books on this topic, “The Mathematics of Computerized Tomography” (1986, translated to Russian in 1990, new edition in 2001 in the series „Classics in Applied Mathematics“),[10] and “Mathematical Methods in Image Reconstruction” (2001))[11] are considered standard works in this field of science.[1][12] His main scientific contributions to the area of computed tomography are:

Natterer’s scientific work has been very relevant in the development of modern methods of imaging in computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Ultrasonic Imaging and positron emission tomography (PET).[9][13]

Service to the scientific community[edit]

From 1995 to 1999, Natterer was the honorary editor of the journal Inverse Problems and since 2000 he has been a member of the “International Advisory Panel of Inverse Problems”.[14] Since 1997, he has been on the editorial board of The Journal of Fourier Analysis and Applications.[15] He has also been involved with “IEEE Transaction on Medical Imaging", “Journal of Inverse and Ill-Posed Problems”, “International Journal of Imaging Systems and Technology”, and the SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics.

He was member of the Committee on the Mathematics and Physics of Emerging Dynamic Biomedical Imaging of the National Research Council of the USA.[16] This committee described the state of the art in biomedical imaging at the time.

Natterer has organized numerous conferences on the topics of inverse problems and on the mathematical methods of computed tomography. In 1980, he founded the series of conferences "Mathematical Methods in Tomography“[1][17][18][19][20] at the Mathematical Research Institute of Oberwolfach. He was a faculty member in numerous scientific summer schools.[21][22]

Other work[edit]

Frank Natterer is a member of the German Proust Society[23] and has published an article on Proust and mathematics.[24]

Personal life[edit]

He has been married to Renate Natterer since 1967. They have two adult sons. He is the father in law of Asian singer Karen Mok.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ehrendoktorwürde für Prof. Dr. Frank Natterer". Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Deuflhard, P.; Dössel, O.; Louis, A. K.; Zachow, S. (5 March 2009). "More Mathematics into Medicine!" (PDF). Zuse Institute Berlin. p. 2. 
  3. ^ "Lothar Collatz". The Mathematical Genealogy Project. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Abschiedsvorlesung von Prof. Dr. Frank Natterer". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Verleihung der Ehrendoktorwürde an Prof. Frank Natterer". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Homepage of Prof. Natterer". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Frank Natterer". The Mathematical Genealogy Project. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Natterer, Frank. "Über die punktweise Konvergenz Finiter Elemente., Numer. Math. 25, 67-77 (1975)". 
  9. ^ a b "Bildgebung mit der Wellengleichung" (PDF). Rundbrief der Gesellschaft für Angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik, 1/2011. Retrieved 30 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Natterer, Frank (2001). The Mathematics of Computerized Tomography (Classics in Applied Mathematics). Society for Industrial Mathematics. p. 184. ISBN 0898714931. Retrieved 10 July 2012. ; first edition (hard cover)1986
  11. ^ Natterer, Frank; Wübbeling, Frank (2001). Mathematical Methods in Image Reconstruction (Monographs on Mathematical Modeling and Computation). Society for Industrial Mathematics. p. 228. ISBN 0898714729. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Censor, Yair. "Review on "The Mathematics of Computerized Tomography"". 
  13. ^ "Röntgen, Radon und kein Ende" (PDF). Johann Radon Lecture 2007/2008 der österreichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Retrieved 30 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Inverse Problems, Editorial Board". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Journal of Fourier Analysis and Applications". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Committee on the Mathematics and Physics of emerging dynamic biomedical Imaging". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Natterer, F.; Hermann, G.T. (1981). Mathematical Aspects of Computerized Tomography. Proceedings, Oberwolfach 1980. Lecture Notes in Medical Informatics 8. Springer-Verlag. p. 309. ISBN 3540102779. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Mathematical Methods in Tomography. Proceedings Conference, Oberwolfach, 1990 by Alfred K. Louis, Frank Natterer, Gabor T. Herman". Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Mathematical Methods in Tomography, Organised by Alfred K. Louis (Saarbrücken), Frank Natterer (Münster), Eric Todd Quinto (Medford), July 30th – August 5th, 2006". Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Mathematics and Algorithms in Tomography, Organised by Martin Burger (Münster), Alfred Louis (Saarbrücken), Todd Quinto (Medford), April 11th – April 17th, 2010". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Numerical Analysis of Inverse Problems for Image Reconstruction in Tomography". 8th IEEE EMBS International Summer School on Biomedical Imaging, Berder, France, 20–28 June 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Inverse Problems and Imaging: Lectures given at the C.I.M.E. Summer School held in Martina Franca, Italy, September 15–21, 2002 (Lecture Notes in Mathematics / C.I.M.E. Foundation Subseries)". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  23. ^ "Deutsche Proust Gesellschaft". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "Proust und die Mathematik" (PDF). PROUSTIANA XXVI, Mitteilungen der Marcel Proust Gesellschaft, Edited by Reiner Speck, Rainer Moritz und Michael Magner, Insel Verlag. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  25. ^ "Johannes and Karen's wedding gift". Retrieved 3 September 2016. 

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