Richard Dedekind
Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind (October 6, 1831 – February 12, 1916) was a German mathematician
A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....

 who did important work in abstract algebra
Abstract algebra
Abstract algebra is the subject area of mathematics that studies algebraic structures, such as groups, rings, fields, modules, vector spaces, and algebras...

 (particularly ring theory
Ring theory
In abstract algebra, ring theory is the study of rings—algebraic structures in which addition and multiplication are defined and have similar properties to those familiar from the integers...

), algebraic number theory
Algebraic number theory
Algebraic number theory is a major branch of number theory which studies algebraic structures related to algebraic integers. This is generally accomplished by considering a ring of algebraic integers O in an algebraic number field K/Q, and studying their algebraic properties such as factorization,...

 and the foundations of the real number
Real number
In mathematics, a real number is a value that represents a quantity along a continuum, such as -5 , 4/3 , 8.6 , √2 and π...

Dedekind's father was Julius Levin Ulrich Dedekind, an administrator at Collegium Carolinum in Braunschweig. Dedekind had three older siblings. As an adult, he never employed the names Julius Wilhelm.
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