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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Richard Courant

Photo

Dates

January 8, 1888 – January 27, 1972

Authorized Form of Name

Courant, Richard, 1888-1972

Biography

Abstract

Richard Courant was a German mathematician and a National Academy of Sciences member. He worked at New York University as a Professor of Mathematics for many years (1934-1958).

Important Dates

January 8, 1888Birth (Lubliniec was part of Germany at the time), Lubliniec (Województwo Śląskie, Poland).

1910Obtained PhD, Univerity of Göttingen, Göttingen (Germany).

1912Obtained Habilitation, Univerity of Göttingen, Göttingen (Germany).

1912 – 1918Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Univerity of Göttingen, Göttingen (Germany).

1919 – 1920Professor, University of Münster.

1921 – 1933Professor and Director of the Mathematics Institute, University of Göttingen, Göttingen (Germany).

1923 – 1934Visiting Lecturer, Cambridge University, Cambridge (England).

1934 – 1972Visiting Lecturer (1923-1934); Visiting Professor (1934-1936); Professor of Mathematics (1936-1958); and Emeritus Professor and Science Advisor (1958-1972), New York University, New York (N.Y.).

1936 – 1958Director, Institute of Mathematical Sciences (now Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences) and Head, Department of Mathematics, New York University, New York (N.Y.).

1955Member, National Academy of Sciences.

January 27, 1972Death, New York (N.Y.).

Occupation

Mathematics.

Places

Birth

Lubliniec (Województwo Śląskie, Poland)

Graduate Education

Göttingen (Germany)

Employment

Göttingen (Germany)

Cambridge (England)

New York (N.Y.)

Death

New York (N.Y.)

Subjects

Aerodynamics, Supersonic.

Atomic theory.

Mathematics.

Nuclear physics.

Quantum theory.

Relationships

People

Family

Berkowitz, Leonore Courant

Daughter.

Courant, Ernest D. (Ernest David), 1920-

Son.

Courant, Hans Wolfgang Julius

Son.

Courant, Nelly Neumann

First wife, divorced in 1916.

Courant, Nina Runge

Second wife, married in 1919.

Courant, Siegmund

Father.

Moser, Gertrude Courant

Daughter.

Advisors & Collaborators

Bohr, Harald August, 1887-1951

Wrote a joint paper on the distribution of the values of the Riemann function.

Friedrichs, K. O. (Kurt Otto), 1901-1983

Advised by Courant at University of Göttingen re "Die Randwert- und Eigenwertprobleme aus der Theorie der elastischen Platten" and both employed at New York University.

Grad, Harold, 1923-

Advised by Courant at New York University on the kinetic theory of rarefied gases and both employed at New York University.

Kruskal, Martin D. (Martin David), 1925-2006

Advised by Courant at New York University, "The bridge theorem for minimal surfaces."

Colleagues

Glimm, James

Both employed at New York University.

Kraichnan, Robert H., 1928-2008

Both employed at New York University.

Montroll, E. W.

Both employed at New York University.

Moser, Jürgen, 1928-

Both employed at New York University.

Additional

Biermann, Ludwig, 1907-1986

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Born, Max, 1882-1970

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

Creutz, E.

Debye, Peter J. W. (Peter Josef William), 1884-1966

Epstein, Paul S. (Paul Sophus), 1883-1966

Franck, James, 1882-1964

Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976

Hilbert, David

Hund, Friedrich, 1896-1997

Hurwitz, Adolf

Jordan, Pascual, 1902-1980

Klein, Felix, 1849-1925

Korn, Elizabeth P.

Kramers, Hendrik Anthony, 1894-1952

Landau, L. D. (Lev Davidovich), 1908-1968

Lichtenstein, Leon, 1878-

Minkowski, Jan Michael

Robbins, Herbert

Schwarzschild, Martin

Stern, Marvin, 1923-

Von Kármán, Theodore, 1881-1963

Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957

Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995

Institutions

Major Positions

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

Visiting Professor; Director, Institute of Mathematical Sciences; Professor of Mathematics; Head, Department of Mathematics; and Emeritus Professor and Science Advisor.

Universität Göttingen. Mathematisches Institut

Obtained PhD in 1910 and Habilitation in 1912. Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Professor and Director of the Mathematics Institute.

Universität Münster. Fachbereich Mathematik und Informatik

Professor.

University of Cambridge. Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Visiting Lecturer.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

IBM Research

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Advanced methods in applied mathematics: notes from Courant's lecture course, 1941.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Dedication ceremony of the Niels Bohr Library [sound recording], 1962 September 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

International Science and Technology Journal interviews, 1962-1967.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Richard Courant, 1962 May 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Collections relating to history of physics and allied sciences.

Stadt Göttingen Archiv

Postfach 3831, 3400 Göttingen

Copies of papers from elsewhere not directly related to Niels Bohr, 1920-

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

David Hilbert papers.

Abteilung für Handschriften und seltene Drucke

Niedersächsische Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen

Papendiek 14, D-37073 Göttingen

Edward Condon papers, circa 1920-1974.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Elizabeth P. Korn sketches, undated.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Hendrik Kramers papers [microform], 1915-1952.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Jan Michael Minkowski papers, 1946-1987.

Special Collections, Milton S. Eisenhower Library

Johns Hopkins University

3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Léon Lichtenstein papers, 1910-1960.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Niels Bohr scientific correspondence, 1903-1962.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Oral history interview with Edward Creutz, 2006 January 9 and 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ernst Pascual Jordan, 1963 June 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Oral history interview with Eugene Paul Wigner, 1963 November 21 and December 3, 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Friedrich Hund, 1963 June 25 and 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ludwig Franz Benedikt Biermann, 1978 June 23 and July 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Martin Schwarzschild, 1977 March 10, June 3, December 16 and 1979 July 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Marvin Stern, 1987 May 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Werner Heisenberg, 1962 November 30, 1963 February 7, 11, 13, 15, 19, 22, 25, 27, 28 and 1963 July 5, 12.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Oral history joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck, 1962 July 9 to 14.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Theodore Von Karman papers, 1871-1963.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Published Resources

Author

Differential and integral calculus . . Vol. 1 ; translated by E. J. McShane. / by R. Courant.

Methods of mathematical physics, by R. Courant and D. Hilbert.

Supersonic flow and shock waves [by] R. Courant and K.O. Friedrichs.

Vorlesungen über allgemeine Funktionentheorie und elliptische Funktionen, von Adolf Hurwitz. Hrsg. und ergänzt durch einen Abschnitt über geometrische Funktionentheorie von R. Courant.

Vorlesungen über die entwicklung der mathematik im 19. jahrhunder / Felix Klein.

What is Mathematics? An elementary approach to ideas and methods, by Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins.

Subject

Courant in Göttingen and New York: The Story of an Improbable Mathematician (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1976).

Richard Courant and the Finite Element Method: A Further Look, Historia Mathematica 7 (1980): 369-378.

Richard Courant: 1888-1972, Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences.