# Mathematician:Hermann Günter Grassmann

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## Mathematician

Prussian mathematician who pioneered the field of linear algebra and vector analysis.

His work was way ahead of its time, and did not receive the recognition it deserved until much later.

During his life he gained more recognition for his study of languages, including Gothic and Sanskrit, than as a mathematician.

He also collected folk songs.

Two of his sons followed his (and his father's) footsteps and became teachers at Stettin Gymnasium.

## Nationality

Prussian (later German)

## History

- Born: 15 April 1809, Stettin, Prussia (now Szczecin, Poland)
- Attended Stettin Gymnasium
- 1827: Went to Berlin to study theology
- Autumn 1830: Returned to Stettin
- December 1831: Went to Berlin to take the examinations for appointment to Stettin Gymnasium as a junior teacher
- Spring 1832: Appointed to Stettin Gymnasium as an assistant teacher
- 1834: Took the level one theology examinations set by the Lutheran Church Council of Stettin
- Autumn 1834: Went to Berlin to take up appointment as mathematics teacher at Gewerbeschule (replacing Jakob Steiner)
- 1835: Returned to Stettin to teach at junior level at the new Otto Schule
- 1839: Passed the level two theology examinations
- 1840: Went to Berlin to take examinations to teach at the highest gymnasium level
- 12 April 1849: Married Therese Knappe, the daughter of a landowner
- March 1852: Appointed to fill his late father's position as a professor at Stettin Gymnasium
- Died: 26 Sept 1877, Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland)

## Theorems and Definitions

- Grassmann Algebra, otherwise known as an Exterior Algebra
- Grassmann Number
- Grassmannian
- Grassmann-Cayley Algebra (with Arthur Cayley)
- Grassmann's Identity, also known as Grassmann's Formula

Results named for **Hermann Günter Grassmann** can be found here.

Definitions of concepts named for **Hermann Günter Grassmann** can be found here.

## Publications

- 1840:
*Theorie der Ebbe und Flut*(Theory of Ebb and Flood) - 1844:
*Die Lineale Ausdehnungslehre, ein neuer Zweig der Mathematik*(Linear Extension Theory, a new branch of mathematics) - 1845:
*Neue Theorie der Elektrodynamik* - 1847:
*Die Geometrische Analyse geknüpft und die von Leibniz Characteristik* - 1861:
*Lehrbuch der Mathematik für höhere Lehranstalten, Band 1* - 1862:
*Die Ausdehnungslehre: Vollständig und in strenger Form bearbeitet* - 1873:
*Wörterbuch zum Rig-Veda* - 1876 - 1877:
*Rig-Veda*

## Also known as

Some sources report his middle name as **Günther**.

## Sources

- John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson: "Hermann Günter Grassmann": MacTutor History of Mathematics archive

- 1921: C.E. Weatherburn:
*Elementary Vector Analysis*... (previous) ... (next): Historical Introduction - 1998: David Nelson:
*The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**Grassmann, Hermann Günther**(1809-77) - 2008: David Nelson:
*The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics*(4th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**Grassmann, Hermann Günther**(1809-77)