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Oswald Teichmüller (June 18, 1913 – September 11, 1943) was a German mathematician who introduced quasiconformal mappings and differential geometric methods into complex analysis.


Teichmüller was born in Nordhausen. He studied at the University of Göttingen and received his doctorate in 1935 under Helmut Hasse. He was a passionate Nazi, joining the NSDAP in July 1931 and becoming a member of the Sturmabteilung in August 1931. In 1933 he organized the boycott of his Jewish professor Edmund Landau.[1] In 1936 and 1937 he attended lectures by Nevanlinna who sympathized with the Third Reich, where he was a guest professor and, like Brouwer was also considered by the Nazis as "politically reliable" (Rudolf Heß was in charge of the assessment).[2] Under the influence of Nevanlinna he specialized in geometric function theory. Upon personal authorisation from the Führer, he joined the Wehrmacht in 1939 and was killed in fighting on the Eastern Front. Much of his work was published in Deutsche Mathematik, a highly ideological journal founded by Ludwig Bieberbach that contained not only scholarly articles but also race propaganda. Because of the nature of the journal, his papers were hard to find in modern libraries before the publication of his collected works.


The theory of Teichmüller spaces (a moduli space theory for Riemann surfaces) was developed by Lars Ahlfors, Lipman Bers and others. The Teichmüller representative or Teichmüller character is a construction with p-adic numbers.


Friedrich L. Bauer:

" ... he was a genius but as an extreme Nazi shamefully stood out with his agitation against Landau and Courant ."


1. ^ Jüdische Mathematiker im "Dritten Reich"
2. ^ Lehto, Olli: Korkeat maailmat. Rolf Nevanlinnan elämä. Otava, 2001.

External links

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Oswald Teichmüller", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Teichmuller.html .
* Oswald Teichmüller at the Mathematics Genealogy Project


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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