Herbert Meschkowski

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Herbert Meschkowski (born February 1, 1909 in Berlin-Moabit ; † March 24, 1990 in Berlin ) was a German mathematician .


Herbert Meschkowski grew up in simple circumstances. His father worked as a prison guard at the Moabit Detention Center .

In 1927 he began studying physics and mathematics, among others with Erhard Schmidt and Ludwig Bieberbach at the then Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin , which he graduated in 1931 with a very good state examination with Georg Hamel . After legal clerkship (1932–1934) and assessor examination (1934), he taught a class for difficult-to-educate children at the Evangelical Johannesstift in Berlin for two years . There he met the educator Magdalena Meitz, whom he married in 1936. In the same year he switched to a mathematics teacher at a grammar school in Berlin-Pankow and in 1939 became a teacher.

During the war years he mainly worked as a meteorologist in the service of the Wehrmacht.

In 1950 he did his doctorate under Alexander Dinghas with the topic "About the conformal mapping of certain areas of infinitely high correlation to full circle areas". Meschkowski was a professor at the Free University of Berlin and the Berlin University of Education . From 1962 to 1964 he was rector of the Berlin University of Education. He dealt with function theory and functional analysis , specialist didactics and specialist history and published numerous textbooks.

Meschkowski also dealt with the history of mathematics, edited Georg Cantor's letters, wrote his biography and a history of mathematics in Berlin. He wrote several books on mathematics aimed at a wider readership. He also took part in interdisciplinary projects: He gave the lecture "The world and human image of modern science" together with the PH lecturers Auguste Hoffmann (human biology), Walter Bünger (physics), Volkmar Denckmann (botany), Martin Hengst (nutritional science ) and Reinhold Scharf (chemistry).


  • Mathematics clearly presented. Piper, 1986, 1997
  • Editor Lust for Knowledge - Modern Mathematics. A reader. Piper, 1991
  • Minds of Great Mathematicians - A Path to the History of Mathematics. Vieweg, 1961, 1967, 1990
  • Each according to his or her own style - Berlin intellectual life 1700-1810. Piper, 1986
  • From Humboldt to Einstein. Berlin as the world center of the exact sciences. Piper 1989
  • Problem history of mathematics. 3 volumes, BI (Bibliographisches Institut, Mannheim) 1978, 1984, 1986
  • Changes in Mathematical Thought - An Introduction to the Fundamental Problems of Mathematics. BI, 1969, Piper 1985
  • Georg Cantor: Life, Work, Effect. BI, 2nd edition. 1983 (first 1967)
  • Mathematicians lexicon. BI, 1964, 1980
  • Infinite rows. BI, 1962, 1982 (BI university pocket books, vol. 35)
  • Series developments in mathematical physics. BI, 1963
  • Hilbert spaces with a core function. , Basic Teachings of Mathematical Science, Springer 1962
  • Mathematics and Reality: Lectures and Essays. BI, 1979
  • Correctness and Truth in Mathematics. BI, 1976, 1978
  • Die Mathematik I (Schülerduden), BI, 1972
  • Foundations of modern mathematics. Scientific Book Society, 1972, 1975
  • Introduction to modern mathematics. BI, 1964, 1971
  • Unsolved and unsolvable problems of geometry. BI, 1960, 1975
  • Basics of Euclidean geometry. BI, 1966, 1974
  • Non-Euclidean Geometry. Vieweg 1954, 1971
  • Editor of Meyer's handbook on mathematics. BI, 1967, 1974
  • Elementary probability and statistics. BI, 1972
  • Probability calculation. BI, 1968
  • Mathematical term dictionary. 1965, 1972
  • Didactics of mathematics. 4 volumes
  • Numbers. BI, 1970
  • Functions. BI, 1970
  • Mathematics as a basis for education. Vieweg, 1965
  • Difference equations. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1959


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Contributions to the history of the Berlin University of Education . Edited by Gerd Heinrich on behalf of the Rector (= Volume 6 of the treatises from the Pädagogische Hochschule Berlin. ) Berlin 1980, p. 204.
  2. ^ Announcements of the Society for Didactics of Mathematics: On the 100th birthday of Herbert Meschkowski. (PDF; 774 kB) Edition: 88, January 2010, pp. 15–21.
  3. see Pedagogical University Berlin (ed.): Festschrift for Volkmar Denckmann as a special volume of the negotiations of the Botanical Association of the Province of Brandenburg 1976, p. 15

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