Christian Kramp (July 8, 1760 – May 13, 1826) was a French mathematician, who worked primarily with factorials.

Christian Kramp's father was his teacher at grammar school in Strasbourg. Kramp studied medicine and graduated, however, his interests certainly ranged outside medicine for, in addition to a number of medical publications, he published a work on crystallography in 1793. In 1795 France annexed the Rhineland area in which medical Kramp was carrying out his work and after this he became a teacher at Cologne (this city was French from 1794 to 1815), teaching mathematics, chemistry and physics.

Kramp was appointed professor of mathematics at Strasbourg, the town of his birth, in 1809. He was elected to the geometry section of the French Academy of Sciences in 1817. As Bessel, Legendre and Gauss did, Kramp worked on the generalised factorial function which applied to non-integers. His work on factorials is independent of that of James Stirling and Vandermonde. He was the first to use the notation n! (Elements d'arithmétique universelle, 1808). In fact, the more general concept of factorial was found at the same time by Arbogast.

External links

* Portions of Elements d'arithmétique universelle

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Christian Kramp", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Kramp.html .

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