# David Hilbert Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

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Königsberg, Germany

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**David Hilbert** was a mathematician who created a new field: **metamathematics**. He had formulated the theory of Hilbert Spaces, which later became a **foundation for functional analysis.**

## Childhood And Early Life

**David Hilbert** was born on 23rd of January 1862, in Province of Prussia then. He said that he was born in **Königsberg,** but his parents were living in its neighbor Wehlau, where his father **Otto** worked as a city judge. **David Hilbert** had a younger sister **Elsie**, six years younger. His mother **Maria** **Therese** **Erdtmann** homeschooled him until he attended school at eight. Eight- year- old **David Hilbert** was enrolled junior section of **Collegium Fridericianumin**, before entering the gymnasium of the Royal Friedrichskolleg in 1872. He transferred to Wilhelm Gymnasium for his final year in 1879, where he was encouraged to think and do **mathematics** and **science**. After graduating from school, David went to The **Albertina** of the University of Königsberg in 1880.

In Albertina, **David Hilbert** worked under mentor Ferdinand von Lindemann and met **Adolf Hurwitz** and **Hermann Minkowski** in 1884, and it was the start of development in mathematics. David presented his thesis: Über invariant Eigenschaften specially binärer Formen, insbesondere der Kugelfunctionen (translation: ‘On the invariant properties of particular binary forms, in particular, the spherical harmonic functions). David obtained his **doctoral degree** and passed the **Staatsexamen** in quality as a teacher.

## Career

**David Hilbert** became a lecturer at the University of Königsberg after he passed his Ph. D, he also traveled to Paris on invitation from **Felix Klein**. In Paris, he met with French mathematicians such as **Henri Poincaré,** **Charles Hermite**, and others. **David Hilbert** returned to Germany, visiting Göttingen and Berlin before returning home to **Königsberg** to teach. He was promoted to Extraordinary Professor in 1892 and became a full professor in the following year. He proved the **Basis Theorem** in 1888 by showing the theorem in a different but abstract way.

Two years later he listed twenty- three problems that remained unsolved at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris. In 1897, **David Hilbert** wrote treatise **Zahlberich,** unifying algebraic number theory. In 1902 he was co-editor of Mathematische Annalen, with **Felix Klein** and **Otto Blumenthal. **After being a pure mathematician for years, **David Hilbert** delved into physics around 1912. He had a physics tutor and corresponded with **Albert Einstein** about fundamentals of the theory of gravity and field equations. **David Hilbert** developed integral equations, trying to make physics more natural and more elegant for mathematicians.

When **Richard Courant** wrote Methoden der mathematischen Physik (Methods of Mathematical Physics), he credited David as he used some of the ideas, despite David did not contribute to the writing. **David Hilbert** developed pernicious anemia in 1925; he was sixty- three years old then. Five years later he retired from the **University**** of Göttingen**. In 1933, the Nazis forced out Jewish or those who were married to Jewish people, resulting in ending of the Institute.

## Awards

In 1910, **David Hilbert** won the **Bolyai **Prize and was made a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1928. He won the first Mittag-Leffler prize of the Swedish Academy in 1939, sharing it with French mathematician **Émile Picard.**

## Personal Life

**David Hilbert** married **Käthe Jerosch** in 1892; they had one son together. Unfortunately, **Franz Hilbert** was born in 1893 was born with an undiagnosed mental illness, and was a disappointment to the father. **David Hilbert** broke his arm while walking in 1942; it was the precursor of his spiral downwards. He passed away 14 February 1943, but the news only made public six months after he had died.

## Quote

**David Hilbert** famous quote: Wir müssen wissen. Wir Werden wissen. (We Must Know, We Will Know) Was written on his **epitaph in Göttingen**. It was spoken during his retirement speech to the Society of German **Scientist and Physicians** in 1930