(March 3, 1845 – January 6, 1918)

Georg Cantor’s expertise was honed by Ernst Kummer and Karl Weierstrass who supervised his doctorate. Before inventing his Set Theory, he worked on Number Theory and Analysis. In fact, his first ten treatises were entirely on Number Theory. Eduard Heine (the grand wizard of Spherical Harmonics and Uniform Continuity) noticed his brilliance and urged him to tackle the persistent issue of the Uniqueness of the Representation of a Function by Trigonometric Series. Masterminds like Bernhard Riemann, Peter Dirichlet and Rudolf Lipschitz have tried and failed to solve this problem. It stumped Professor Heine too, but Cantor solved it; and in the process discovered Transfinite Ordinals. He followed this up by publishing elaborate treatises on both Trigonometric Series and Irrational Numbers, before assembling them into his Set Theory masterpiece. In setting this stage for Set Theory, Cantor first defined Cardinal Numbers, Ordinal Numbers and unveiled the Theory of Transfinite Numbers. His Set Theory treatise (titled: On a Property of the Collection of All Real Algebraic Numbers) conclusively proved that more than one kind of infinity exist, before establishing a new way of deducing Transcendental Numbers. This revolution was such that it attracted severe criticisms from top mathematicians (such as Henri Poincare, Hermann Weyl, Luitzen Brouwer and Leopold Kronecker) who failed to grasp it, until David Hilbert and Richard Dedekind gave Cantor their full support. For his achievements, the London Royal Society awarded Cantor their top math honor: the Sylvester Medal. He is also the eponym of Cantor lunar crater.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment