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From Past to Future: Grassmann's Work in Context



Grassmann Bicentennial Conference
(1809 – 1877)
September 16 – 19, 2009  Potsdam / Szczecin  (DE / PL)


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Impressions



Dr. Manfred Stolpe: Opening of the conference

"[...] for four days I enjoyed the company of some 70 distinguished mathematicians who had travelled from all continents to Germany and later to Poland to honour Hermann Günther Grassmann who was born in Szczecin (then Stettin) on 15 April 1809. Thus Grassmann was born on the same date as Euler whose 300th birthday was celebrated in 2007. The first thing that struck me was the diversity of Grassmann's output: not only his mathematical influence (as the 'father of vectors') but also his philosophical, philological, political, and pedagogical contributions. Apart from his work in mathematics (including axiomatics and formal logic) we heard of his thoughts on natural philosophy, religion and belief, phonetics and lexicography. He was without doubt ahead of his time and recognized during his life by only a few but his ideas inspired and were - and are - utilized by many. The lectures described the historical context and diversity of Grassmann's ideas and influence on the present and future.
[...]

We listened to the lectures both in Potsdam (at its young university and in a restaurant overlooking Lake Havel) as well as in the Mathematics and Physics Faculty of the University of Szczecin. And between these two cities were videolinks. Apart from the talks (almost 40) there were tours by foot and bus round Potsdam and Szczecin, traditional flute music with champagne, a cathedral organ recital, an exhibition of previously unseen documents of Grassmann, a meal in a traditional German restaurant, and a buffet brought to Germany from Poland. For me the highlight was the guided excursion to Einstein's summer house, south of Potsdam in the town of Caputh, where he stayed from 1929 until 1932.
The 200th birthday of Hermann Grassmann was a memorable success. [...]"
 
(Ian Adamson: Grassmann Bicentennial Conference. Potsdam and Szczecin, 16-19 September 2009. In: BSHM Bulletin: Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, 25 (2010), p. 41)


 

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    Conference Patron:
 
    Dr. Manfred Stolpe




   Funded by:


DFG

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

Universität Potsdam

Universitätsgesellschaft Potsdam e.V.

Universytet Szczecinski

Birkhäuser Verlag