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Eduard Study
(1862 - 1930)

Eduard Study, Mathematician
Translation of an excerpt of "Nachruf" by AE Weiss
Source: Sitzenberichte der Berliner mathematischen Gesellshaft 10:52-77 (1930).
Eduard Study was born in Koburg on March 23, 1862; he lost his mother early and had a strict upbringing with his father. He seldom followed lecture courses and acquired his knowledge in conversation with fellow students and from transcripts of external lectures. He graduated in 1884 in Munich with a dissertation on a topic of his own choosing, and then went to Leipzig for a year to study under Felix Klein. He settled in Marburg as Privatdozen, and in 1893 became extra-ordinary professor. After a short excursion in America, he became an extra-ordinary professor in Bonn in 1894. He was elevated to ordinary professor in 1897 at Griefswald, and returned to Bonn as ordinary professor. There he followed a four-hour schedule of two semester courses on differential geometry, invariant theory, analytical mechanics, higher algebra, function theory, and selected topics in higher geometry.

He did not like to make extensive lecture preparations, but his reputation as a poor lecturer was disseminated more by Study himself than by his students. He was delivered of an old affliction on March 31, 1927. For a few years he was able to devote himself uninterruptedly to scientific work, lectures, and his favorite pastimes: philosophical criticism and entomological studies in biology. On June 1, 1930 he was lost to cancer; his healthy heart vainly resisted for a long time. Study's friends Engel and Hausdorff spoke words of farewell at his bedside.

Study's first scientific work was biological: while yet a student he published a treatise on the snails and slugs of his hometown region. Soon thereafter, and still before his graduation, three small mathematical works appeared. The second one [Elementary proof of a geometric proposition, Crelle Journal, v. 94 (1883)] used a geometric construction of the school of Th. Reyes to which Study had belonged in Strassburg. Study later happily recounted, that at that time, in the first semester, he lost all notes on the first volume of Reyes' Geometry of Position -- the more important one, as one finds in today's approach.

The importance of synthetic geometry in Study's life at that time came to expression in some of the theses that he defended for his graduation:
(#9) Synthetic geometry in the sense of von Staudt should form an obligatory syllabus for prospective teachers of mathematics.
Another three of the 13 theses which Study gathered, in his Grassmann-inspired dissertation On the Measurement of Extensive Quantities and submitted in 1884 to the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Munich, are noteworthy since they can be valued as indicative of the direction of his later scientific production.:
(#6) One should strive less to broaden the frontiers of mathematical science, but more to observe material in hand.
(#2) A symbology (algorithmic or calcular) becomes fully functional only when it brings to expression all possible relations, and these only.
(#3) In the case of development of pure mathematics, the use of the so-called canonical forms is avoided as much as possible.