Helmuth Gericke

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Hermann Boerner (left) and Helmuth Gericke (1975)

Helmuth Fritz Paul Gericke (born May 7, 1909 in Aachen ; † August 15, 2007 in Freiburg im Breisgau ) was a German mathematician and mathematician.


From 1926 to 1931 he studied physics and mathematics at the universities of Greifswald , Marburg and Göttingen. In 1931 he obtained his doctorate on the subject of the Volta Effect . In 1934 he became assistant to Wilhelm Süss in Freiburg im Breisgau . With him he also achieved his habilitation in 1941 on a thesis on pure mathematics.

After 1945 he helped Süss to continue running the Oberwolfach Mathematical Research Institute . His interest in the history of mathematics was aroused by the work of Joseph Ehrenfried Hofmann , whom he had met in Oberwolfach in 1945 and 1946. In 1947 he began to hold lectures on topics related to the history of mathematics in Freiburg. There he also received support from Heinrich Behnke , which enabled him to publish his work.

In 1952 he was appointed adjunct professor at the University of Freiburg. In 1963 he accepted an offer at the University of Munich, where he was appointed professor for the history of natural sciences as the first lecturer. There he founded the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences . Against his expressed will, he was elected deputy chairman of the German Society for the History of Medicine, Science and Technology in 1964 . In 1977 he retired .

He began his professional occupation with the subjects of differential geometry and the field of complex numbers . After that he devoted himself from 1947 to the topics of the history of mathematics, on which he also published several books. The focus was on the development of mathematics in ancient Greece and mathematics in the 19th century.


  • About the Volta Effect , Coburg 1932
  • 9 reprints 1935 - 1953 (content: About the largest sphere in a convex set of points, 1935 - On the work of P. Ganapathi: A Note on the Oval, 1935 - Some characteristic properties of the circle, 1935 - About a convergence criterion, 1937 - About a Inequality for mixed volumes, 1937 - Sustainable areas in complex Fourier representation, 1940 - Algebraic considerations on the Aristotelian syllogisms , 1952 - Some basic ideas of modern algebra, 1952 - On the concept of algebraic structure, 1953)
  • On the history of mathematics at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau , with E. Albert, 1955
  • Theory of Associations , Mannheim 1963
  • The development of physical terms among the Greeks , Göttingen 1965
  • History of the number concept , Mannheim 1970
  • 50 years of GAMM ( Society for Applied Mathematics and Mechanics ) as publisher, Munich 1972
  • From the chronicle of the German Mathematicians Association , Stuttgart 1980
  • Mathematics in Antiquity and the Orient , Berlin 1984
  • Mathematics in the West. From the Roman surveyors to Descartes , Berlin 1990
  • Mathematics in Antiquity, Orient and Occident , Wiesbaden 2003 (reprint of the partial volumes 1984 and 1990)


  • Menso Folkerts and Uta Lindgren (eds.), Mathemata: Festschrift for Helmuth Gericke . Steiner, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 978-3-515-04324-3
  • De Thiende: The first textbook of Dezimalbruchrechnung after the Dutch and the French edition of 1585 , with Simon Stevin and Kurt Vogel, Wiesbaden 1965


  • Menso Folkerts: Obituary for Helmuth Gericke , in: mathe-lmu.de (p. 9/10), PDF
  • Siegfried Gottwald, Hans-Joachim Ilgauds, Karl-Heinz Schlote: Lexicon of important mathematicians , Leipzig 1990

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