David Hilbert

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David Hilbert belongs to the pleiad of the most influential and remarkable mathematicians of the XX century. Hilbert managed to discover and develop numerous ideas in various fields including proof theory, mathematical logic, geometry axiomatization and invariant theory. He is recognized for formulating the theory of Hilbert spaces, which is considered the basis of functional analysis. In the year 1900, Hilbert represented a wide range of problems concerning the further development of mathematics at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris. It should be stressed that these problems have been essential for many years.

David Hilbert was born in 1862 in Konigsberg. In 1872, Hilbert entered the same school where Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, had studied before. He failed to graduate from this school and had to finish his studying at the Wilhelm Gymnasium. In 1880, Hilbert became a student of the University of Konigsberg. While studying at the University, Hilbert got acquainted with Hermann Minkowski and Adolf Hurwitz. There was a fruitful and successful cooperation between Hilbert and Minkowski for some decades (Encyclopedia Britannica Online; Reid, 1996).

In 1885, Hilbert obtained the doctoral degree and worked for some years at the University of Konigsberg. In the year 1895, he was offered the position at the University of Gottingen, which was considered one of the well-known scientific centers for mathematicians at that time. Hilbert was also the editor-in-chief of the key mathematical journal from the year 1902 to 1939 (Reid, 1996).

Though Hilbert was a very prominent scholar and had a perfect career, his private life was not successful. Hilbert’s son suffered from a mental illness. It was a real tragedy for Hilbert to know that his son could not be cured as doctors failed to diagnose the illness (Reid, 1996).

Hilbert died in the year 1943 and was buried in Gottingen.

In conclusion, David Hilbert made remarkable contributions to the development of mathematics and geometry. His ideas and findings have been used by other researchers in order to continue the further development of mathematical logic and proof theory.

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