Maria Hasse

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Maria-Viktoria Hasse (May 30, 1921 – January 10, 2014) was a German mathematician who became the first female professor in the faculty of mathematics and science at TU Dresden.[1] She wrote books on set theory and category theory,[2] and is known as one of the namesakes of the Gallai–Hasse–Roy–Vitaver theorem in graph coloring.

Education and career[edit]

Hasse was born in Warnemünde. She went to the gymnasium in Rostock, and after a term in the Reich Labour Service from 1939 to 1940, studied mathematics, physics, and philosophy at the University of Rostock and University of Tübingen from 1940 to 1943, earning a diploma in 1943 from Rostock. She continued at Rostock as an assistant and lecturer, earning a doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) in 1949 and a habilitation in 1954.[2][1] Her doctoral dissertation, Über eine singuläre Intergralgleichung 1. Art mit logarithmischer Unstetigkeit [On a singular integral equation of the 1st kind with logarithmic discontinuity], was supervised by Hans Schubert;[3] her habilitation thesis was Über eine Hillsche Differentialgleichung [On Hill's differential equation]. She worked as a professor of algebra at TU Dresden from 1954 until her 1981 retirement.[4]


With Lothar Michler, Hasse wrote Theorie der Kategorien [Category Theory] (Deutscher Verlag, 1966).[5] She also wrote Grundbegriffe der Mengenlehre und Logik [Basic Concepts of Set Theory and Logic] (Harri Deutsch, 1968).[6]

In the theory of graph coloring, the Gallai–Hasse–Roy–Vitaver theorem provides a duality between colorings of the vertices of a graph and orientations of its edges. It states that the minimum number of colors needed in a coloring equals the number of vertices in a longest path, in an orientation chosen to minimize the length of this path. It was stated in 1958 in a graph theory textbook by Claude Berge, and independently published by Hasse, Tibor Gallai, B. Roy, and L. Vitaver. Hasse's publication of this result was the second chronologically, in 1965.[7]


  1. ^ a b Voss, Waltraud (2016), Lieselott Herforth: Die erste Rektorin einer deutschen Universität, Gender studies (in German), transcript Verlag, pp. 127–128, ISBN 9783839435458
  2. ^ a b "Hasse, Maria-Viktoria", Catalogus professorum rostochienium, University of Rostock, retrieved 2018-02-25
  3. ^ Maria Hasse at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ Voss (2016) The Rostock CPR gives the date of her start at Dresden as 1964, but this would leave a ten-year gap in her work life, and Voss is clear that she arrived before the 1962 start of Lieselott Herforth.
  5. ^ Isbell, J. R., "Review of Theorie der Kategorien", Mathematical Reviews, MR 0213411
  6. ^ MR0215725
  7. ^ Independent publications of the Gallai–Hasse–Roy–Vitaver theorem:
    • Gallai, Tibor (1968), "On directed graphs and circuits", Theory of Graphs (Proceedings of the Colloquium Tihany 1966), New York: Academic Press, pp. 115–118
    • Витавер, Л. М. (1962), "Нахождение минимальных раскрасок вершин графа с помощью булевых степеней матрицы смежностей [Determination of minimal coloring of vertices of a graph by means of Boolean powers of the incidence matrix]", Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR (in Russian), 147: 758–759, MR 0145509
    • Hasse, Maria (1965), "Zur algebraischen Begründung der Graphentheorie. I", Mathematische Nachrichten (in German), 28 (5–6): 275–290, doi:10.1002/mana.19650280503, MR 0179105
    • Roy, B. (1967), "Nombre chromatique et plus longs chemins d'un graphe" (PDF), Rev. Française Informat. Recherche Opérationnelle (in French), 1 (5): 129–132, MR 0225683
    For an overview of the theorem and its history, see Nešetřil, Jaroslav; Ossona de Mendez, Patrice (2012), "Theorem 3.13", Sparsity: Graphs, Structures, and Algorithms, Algorithms and Combinatorics, 28, Heidelberg: Springer, p. 42, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-27875-4, ISBN 978-3-642-27874-7, MR 2920058.