Stefan Cohn-Vossen

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Stefan Cohn-Vossen
StephanCohnVossen MFO12644.jpg
in Moscow, probably 1936
Born(1902-05-28)May 28, 1902
DiedJune 25, 1936(1936-06-25) (aged 34)
Alma materWrocław University
Known forCohn-Vossen's inequality
Scientific career
ThesisSinguläre Punkte reeller, schlichter Kurvenscharen, deren Differentialgleichung gegeben ist (1924)
Doctoral advisorAdolf Kneser

Stefan Cohn-Vossen (28 May 1902 – 25 June 1936) was a mathematician, who was responsible for Cohn-Vossen's inequality and the Cohn-Vossen transformation is also named for him.[1] He proved the first version of the splitting theorem.

He was also known for his collaboration with David Hilbert on the 1932 book Anschauliche Geometrie, translated into English as Geometry and the Imagination.[2]

He was born in Breslau (then a city in the Kingdom of Prussia; now Wrocław in Poland). He wrote a 1924 doctoral dissertation at the University of Breslau (now the University of Wrocław) under the supervision of Adolf Kneser.[3] He became a professor at the University of Cologne in 1930.

He was barred from lecturing in 1933 under Nazi racial legislation, because he was Jewish.[4] In 1934 he emigrated to the USSR, with some help from Herman Müntz.[5] While there, he taught at Leningrad University. He died in Moscow from pneumonia.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Voitsekhovskii, M.I. (2001) [1994], "Cohn-Vossen transformation", Encyclopedia of Mathematics, EMS Press
  2. ^ Hilbert, David; Cohn-Vossen, Stephan (1952). Geometry and the Imagination (2nd ed.). Chelsea. ISBN 0-8284-1087-9.
  3. ^ Stefan Cohn-Vossen at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ Siegmund-Schultze, Reinhard (2009), Mathematicians Fleeing from Nazi Germany: Individual Fates and Global Impact, Princeton University Press, pp. 132, 133, 346, 370, 373, 399, ISBN 9780691140414.
  5. ^ Siegmund-Schultze 2009 (p.133) quotes from a 1937 letter by Müntz: "The appointments of Cohn-Vossen, Walfisz, Pollaczek (the latter was not allowed to slip in again) were immediately influenced by myself, the ones for Plessner and Bergmann indirectly."
  6. ^ Cohn-Vossen's Obituary (in Russian)

External links[edit]