Courant by Constance Reid (auth.)

By Constance Reid (auth.)

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Sample text

He wrote all of these thoughts in long letters to Nelly Neumann, who was still at the university in Breslau. " 15 Courant He had hoped that he would find some way to make money in Gottingen; and he was shortly approached by Hilbert himself with the request that he tutor Franz, Hilbert's only son, a strange boy who did not seem to be able to manage the gymnasium course on his own. The job was only temporary-until the boy's regular tutor returned-but in closer contact with Hilbert and observing the social mechanics of the sciences in Gottingen, Courant conceived within the first two weeks of the semester the ambition to become Hilbert's assistant.

In the published dissertation (1910), there are a number of references to Koebe and his work in the footnotes. One of these is unusual. "While I was writing this paper," Courant noted on page 5, "there appeared ... a paper by Mr. Koebe, the essential content of which is the proof of this same theorem, which was first formulated by Hilbert as a general theorem. Mr. Koebe's proof is also based -on Hilbert's idea of employing the minimum property of the flow potential and agrees further with my proof of the convergence of these potentials.

In the chapter of her memoirs entitled "The Sorrows of the Family," Edith Stein wrote that Jakob's own activities were blameless and that his difficulties were due to the fact that he had become involved in the business ventures of Siegmund and another brother. I was told by Helen Pick, a Courant cousin who now lives in the United States, that her parents later explained to her that there had simply been a tragic misunderstanding. At any rate, in September of Richard's fourteenth year, Jakob shot and killed himself.

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