February 14, 1943) was a German
. He is recognized as one of the most influential and universal mathematicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Hilbert discovered and developed a broad range of fundamental ideas in many areas, including invariant theory
and the axiomatization of geometry
. He also formulated the theory of Hilbert space
s, one of the foundations of functional analysis
Hilbert adopted and warmly defended Georg Cantor
's set theory and transfinite number
Aus dem Paradies, das Cantor uns geschaffen, soll uns niemand vertreiben können.
One can measure the importance of a scientific work by the number of earlier publications rendered superfluous by it.
Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries; for mathematics, the cultural world is one country.
If one were to bring ten of the wisest men in the world together and ask them what was the most stupid thing in existence, they would not be able to discover anything so stupid as astrology.
If I were to awaken after having slept for a thousand years, my first question would be: Has the Riemann hypothesis|Riemann hypothesis been proven?
A mathematical problem should be difficult in order to entice us, yet not completely inaccessible, lest it mock at our efforts. It should be to us a guide post on the mazy paths to hidden truths, and ultimately a reminder of our pleasure in the successful solution.