Leopold Kronecker

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LEOPOLD KRONECKER Leopold Kronecker was born on December 7th in 1823. He was born in Leignitz, Prussia, which is now called Leignitz, Poland. His mother, Johanna Prausnitzer and father, Isidor Kronecker were very wealthy. Leopold was their firstborn and an only child until he was 17 years old when his brother, Hugo was born.

Leopold's education started very early, with 7 different private tutors. He was tutored until age 14. At age 15 he began attending Leignitz Gymnasium, a school fairly close to his house. This school is the place that first inspired Kronecker. Here he met his lifetime friend, Ernest Krummer. Krummer was a teacher at the school and he taught Kronecker much more about mathematics than was ever required at Leignitz Gymnasium School. In 1841 Leopold became a student at Berlin University. He excelled in many areas, such as: Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Philosophy. After spending the summer of 1843 at the University of Bonn Kronecker became a student at the University of Breslau.

He studied at Breslau for only one semester before returning to Berlin University where he worked on his doctoral thesis on algebraic number theory.

In 1848 Leopold left the University to help out his families banking business. Also in 1848 he married his uncle's daughter, Fanny Prausnitzer. Together they had 6 children. 4 of their children outlived them but 2 died of incurable diseases.

At age 30, Leopold Kronecker retired from running his families banking business; he was now an extremely wealthy man. He only retired as a businessman. But continued to work on mathematics for pure enjoyment. In 1855 he returned to Berlin. In 1856 he was elected to Berlin University's mathematics team. There he studied and explored the mathematics world with his old friend, Ernest Eduard Krummer and Mr. Weierstrass, another highly intelligent mathematician. The team worked together for 5 years before parting.

Leopold was a short man and was extremely sensitive about his height. An example of his sensitivity, can be found in the book: "Men Of Mathematics" by E.T. Bell, which states "Schwarz sent Kronecker a greeting card which included the sentence- He who does not honor the smaller, is not worthy of the greater. This was meant as a joke, referring to the size of Kronecker. Leopold did not see the funny side of the comment and had no further dealings with Schwarz." Leopold was also an extremely optimistic man; He always looked for the better days. This helped him through the hardest part of his life, when his wife was injured and lived each day hoping to see the next.

In 1890, Kronecker was invited to come and lecture at the first meeting of the Deutsche Mathmataiker Club. Kronecker unfortunately decided to never address the meeting since his wife was seriously injured in a climbing accident. She died August 23rd, 1891. Kronecker only outlived her by 4 months and died on December 29th, 1891, but his contributions lived on.

Leopold Kronecker observed the jeiwsh faith all of his life, except his very last year of living. At age 68 Leopold Kronecker converted to Christianity, thus showing the strength and commitment of his character.

Kronecker's major contributions as a mathematician were in the theory of equations, algebra, elliptic functions, the theory of algebraic equations, and the theory of algebraic numbers. Kronecker extended Galois's work on the theory of equations in 1853. He was well known for a quote, which he lived by: "God created the integers, all else is the work of man."