Otto Hesse

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Ludwig Otto Hesse (22 April 1811 – 4 August 1874) was a German mathematician. Hesse was born in Königsberg, Prussia, and died in Munich, Bavaria. He worked on algebraic invariants. The Hessian matrix and the Hesse normal form are named after him.


Hesse was born in Königsberg (today Kaliningrad) as the son of Johann Gottlieb Hesse, a businessman and brewery owner and his wife Anna Karoline Reiter (1788-1865). He studied in his hometown at the Albertina under Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi. Among his teachers we count Bessel, Neumann, and Richelot. He earned his doctorate in 1840 at the University of Königsberg with the dissertation De octo punctis intersectionis trium superficium secundi ordinis. In 1841 followed the habilitation. In the same year he married Sophie Marie Emilie Dulk, the daughter of pharmacists and chemistry professor Friedrich Philipp Dulk (1788-1852). The couple had a son and 5 daughters. Hesse taught for some time physics and chemistry at the Vocational School in Königsberg and lectured at the Albertina. In 1845 he was appointed associate professor in Königsberg. In 1855 he moved to Halle and in 1856 to Heidelberg until 1868, when he finally moved to Munich to the there newly established Polytechnic School. In 1869 he joined the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.


  • Vorlesungen über analytische Geometrie des Raumes. (Lectures on analytic geometry of space) Leipzig (3. A. 1876)
  • Vorlesungen aus der analytischen Geometrie der geraden...... ...
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