Scientific Program

Historical Lecture

Program -> Historical -> Tue.17:00.H 1012 title only | abstract | bio sketch

Tuesday, 17:00 - 17:50 h, H 1012

Eberhard Knobloch
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - Universal genius and outstanding mathematician

Chair: G√ľnter M. Ziegler

The universal genius Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716)
contributed to nearly all scientific disciplines and left the
incredibly huge amount of about 200 000 sheets of paper that are kept
in the Leibniz Library of Hannover. About 4000 of them regarding
natural sciences, medicine, technology have been digitized and are
freely available in the internet:, Less than
one half of them have been published up to now. Hence we know for
example - for the time being - only about one fourth of his
mathematical production. The lecture will give a short survey of his
biography and mainly deal with the following six aspects: 1. Leibniz
as an organizer of scientific work: his presidency of the Berlin
Academy of Sciences; 2. His rigorous foundation of infinitesimal
geometry; 3. Leibniz as the inventor of the differential and
integral calculus; 4. His conception of and his contributions to a
general combinatorial art (symmetric functions, number theory,
insurance calculus); 5. His proposals for engineering improvements in
mining; 6. Leibniz's invention of the first real four-function
calculating machine.


Biographical sketch:
Eberhard Knobloch studied mathematics, classical philology, and history of science and technology at the Free University of Berlin and the Berlin University of Technology. In 1972 he did a PhD in history of science and technology, in 1976 he passed the habilitation for university professors at the Berlin University of Technology. Since 2002 he is professor of history of science and technology at this university and Academy professor at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW). He is member of several national and international academies of sciences, president of the International Academy of the History of Science, past president of the European Society for the History of Science, Honorary professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He published or edited more than 300 papers or books on the history of science and technology, he is member of the editorial boards of sixteen international journals. His main scientific interests concern the history and philosophy of mathematical sciences and Renaissance technology. He is project leader of the A. v. Humboldt research group and the two Leibniz research groups at the BBAW.



Program -> Historical -> Tue.17:00.H 1012 title only | abstract | bio sketch

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