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

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VI.75 Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer

b. Overschie, the Netherlands, 1881;d. Blaricum, the Netherlands, 1966Lie groups; topology; geometry; intuitionistic mathematics; philosophy of mathematics

Brouwer entered the University of Amsterdam at the age of sixteen, where his teacher was D. J. Korteweg. The young Brouwer taught himself modern mathematics, as well as a fair amount of philosophy. As a graduate student he published some original papers on the decomposition of rotations in four-dimensional space. He also published a brief monograph on mysticism that contained a number of ideas that became prominent in his later philosophy. In his dissertation of 1907 he solved a special case of HILBERT’S [VI.63] fifth problem (the elimination of differentiability ...

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