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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, June Barrow-Green, Timothy Gowers

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VI.54 Georg Cantor

b. Saint Petersburg, Russia, 1845; d. Halle, Germany, 1918Set theory; transfinite numbers; the continuum hypothesis

Although born in Russia, Cantor was raised and educated in Prussia and spent his entire career as professor of mathematics at the University of Halle. He studied at the Universities of Berlin and Göttingen with KRONECKER [VI.48], KUMMER [VI.40], and WEIERSTRASS [VI.44], and received his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin in 1867. His dissertation, “De aequationibus secundi gradus indeterminatis” (“On indeterminate equations of the second grade”), dealt with work in number theory on Diophantine equations, work that had been pioneered by LAGRANGE [VI.22], GAUSS [VI.26], and LEGENDRE [VI.24]. The following year ...

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