Mathematician:August Leopold Crelle

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Self-educated and enthusiastic German mathematician whose most important work was founding Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik, better known as Crelle's Journal.

Worked for the Prussian Ministry of the Interior on the construction and planning of roads.

Worked on the planning of one of the first railways in Germany, completed in $1838$, between Berlin and Potsdam.

Noted for his ability to spot exceptional talent in young mathematicians.

A friend and benefactor of Niels Henrik Abel, whose work he was first to publish.




  • Born: 11 March 1780 in Eichwerder (near Wriezen), Brandenburg, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany)
  • 1827: Elected to Berlin Academy with strong support of Alexander von Humboldt
  • 1828: Left the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, joined the Prussian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs
  • Summer of 1830: Visited France to studying the teaching methods used by the French
  • 1841: Elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Died: 6 October 1855 in Berlin, Germany


  • 1816: De calculi variabilium in geometria et arte mechanica usu (doctoral thesis)

Notable Quotes

The real purpose of mathematics is to be the means to illuminate reason and to exercise spiritual forces.

Critical View

You cannot imagine what an excellent man [ Crelle ] is, exactly as one should be, thoughtful and yet not horribly polite like so many people, quite honest, for that matter. I am with him on as good terms as I am with you or other very good friends.
-- Niels Henrik Abel: letter to Bernt Michael Holmboe in January $1826$