Gosta Mittag-Leffler: A Man of Conviction / Edition 1

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Overview

Gösta Mittag-Leffler (1846–1927) played a significant role on the world stage as both a scientist and entrepreneur. Regarded as the father of Swedish mathematics, his influence extended far beyond his chosen field because of his extensive network of international contacts in science, business, and the arts. His social and professional circles included such luminaries as Selma Lagerlöf, Albert Einstein, Sonya Kovalevsky, Alfred Nobel, Karl Weierstrass, Henri Poincaré, and Marie Curie. (He was instrumental in seeing to it that the latter was awarded the Nobel Prize, not once but twice.) One of Mittag-Leffler’s major accomplishments was the founding of the journal Acta Mathematica in 1882. Today the journal is still published by Institut Mittag-Leffler and Sweden’s Royal Academy of Sciences, and it continues to be one of the most prestigious journals in mathematics. Arild Stubhaug’s research for this monumental biography of the Swedish mathematician relied on a wealth of primary and secondary resources, including more than 30000 letters that are part of the Mittag-Leffler archives. Written in a lucid and compelling manner, the biography contains many hitherto unknown facts about Mittag-Leffler’s personal life and professional endeavors. It will be of great interest to both mathematicians and general readers interested in science and culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

“This book is a biography about a mathematician; the focus is on the man and his life … . Mittag-Leffler’s life is covered in at times minute detail. … it is an important biography of a man that played a significant role in the development of the modern mathematical community.” (Charles Ashbacher, The Mathematical Association of America, January, 2011)

“This is the English translation of a thorough biography of the Swedish mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler first published in Swedish in 2007. … The book was years in the writing and is exhaustively researched … . this book is richly informative … . It is handsomely printed, well illustrated, and generally well translated.” (Jeremy Gray, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2011 k)

“There are many photographs in Stubhaug’s book, in some of which Mittag-Leffler bears a striking resemblance to Mark Twain. … The translation from Norwegian is mostly very smooth … . As a biography of a complex, controversial, highly gifted man who interacted with many of the great figures of his time, this is … a very good read.” (Peter Giblin, The Mathematical Gazette, Vol. 96 (536), July, 2012)

From the Publisher
From the reviews:
“This book is a biography about a mathematician; the focus is on the man and his life … . Mittag-Leffler’s life is covered in at times minute detail. … it is an important biography of a man that played a significant role in the development of the modern mathematical community.” (Charles Ashbacher, The Mathematical Association of America, January, 2011)
“This is the English translation of a thorough biography of the Swedish mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler first published in Swedish in 2007. … The book was years in the writing and is exhaustively researched … . this book is richly informative … . It is handsomely printed, well illustrated, and generally well translated.” (Jeremy Gray, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2011 k)
“There are many photographs in Stubhaug’s book, in some of which Mittag-Leffler bears a striking resemblance to Mark Twain. … The translation from Norwegian is mostly very smooth … . As a biography of a complex, controversial, highly gifted man who interacted with many of the great figures of his time, this is … a very good read.” (Peter Giblin, The Mathematical Gazette, Vol. 96 (536), July, 2012)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783642116711
  • Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Publication date: 11/4/2010
  • Edition description: 2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 800
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Arild Stubhaug is an acclaimed poet and biographer. Born in 1948 in Naustdal, Norway, he holds university degrees in mathematics, literature, and the history of religion. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Oslo. He made his literary debut in 1970 with a poetry book, and he has since published numerous collections of poetry and other important literary works. His biography Niels Henrik Abel and His Times: Called Too Soon from Flames Afar (published in English by Springer-Verlag, 2000) won the prestigious Brage Prize in Norway in 1996. This was followed by two other major works: The Mathematician Sophus Lie: It Was the Audacity of My Thinking (also published in English by Springer-Verlag, 2002), and a biography of the Norwegian writer Conrad Nicolai Schwach.

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Table of Contents

Prelude.- Journey at the Turn of the Century.- The House in Djursholm.- Family and Childhood.- Leffler and Mittag.- Gösta’s Parents.- The Teacher’s Family in Skholm.- Four Years at Skholm Gymnasium.- Studies.- First Semester in Uppsala.- Festivities and Student Drills.- Summer on the West Coast.- The Arisracy of Lennartsnäs.- Controversy over the Academic Degree Regulations.- His Sister’s Debut and His Father’s Illness.- First Trip Abroad.- The Stablemaster at Övrejärva.- Doctoral Degree.- Docent in Uppsala.- A Turning Point.- With a Room in Paris.- In Göttingen.- With a Base in Berlin.- Traveling to Helsingfors.- In the Finnish Capital.- Waiting Time.- Professor, Husband, and Entrepreneur.- Installation in Helsingfors, Anniversary Celebration in Uppsala.- In “The Land Called Suomi”.- First Encounter with Italy.- Meeting Signe.- Acta Mathematica.- Wedding and Honeymoon.- New Roles in Skholm.- Acta and the College.- Sonya K. and the “Brilliant” Life.- Winter Travels.- Summer in Switzerland.- Strife in the Academy of Sciences.- Rector of the College.- Social Entertainments Abound.- A Terrible Summer.- Involved in All Manner of Things.- Traveling to Algeria.- Meeting in Wernigerode.- A New Shift in Skholm.- King Oscar’s Prize.- New Efforts on Sonya’s Behalf.- Fame, Friends, and Enemies.- Construction in Djursholm.- Sonya’s Death.- Life Goes On – I.- Donation to the College.- Business Affairs, Birth and Death.- Life Goes On – II.- Battlefields.- Celebrating His 50th Birthday.- Seeking a “Practical, Useful Result”.- A Marriage Teetering on the Brink.- One Thing After Another.- On the Verge of Bankruptcy.- Celebrating Niels Henrik Abel.- Two Funerals.- The Nobel Prizes, Another Battle.- The Almanac Dispute.- Signe’s Inheritance.- Political Ambitions and Huge Business Ventures.- Celebrating His 60th Birthday.- King Oscar’s Death.- More Celebrations and More Disputes.- The Big Poincaré Campaign.- From Dreams of Power to Resignation.- A New Home in the Dalarna Region.- Travels, Congresses, Prizes.- The Case Against Prime Minister Staaff.- World War, Writing His Will and Testament.- Establishment of a Mathematics Institute.- International Cooperation After the War.- Signe’s Death.- Still on the Move.- New Travels and Financial Setbacks.- Last Years.

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