Carl Jacobi… the Jacobian Matrix?
Yes, the Jacobian matrix is named after Carl Jacobi and that is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear “Jacobi”, but you may not know what that is yet. Last quarter I first learned about the Jacobian method in my Numerical Analysis class—and I am a senior in college, so what importance does Jacobi have to do with pre-calculus high schoolers? As I try to think back to precalculus; algebra, trigonometry, functions, logarithms, arc lengths, sine, cosine, and there is probably a lot more I cannot recall, but Jacobi played a role in the fundamentals of trigonometry. Before I continue about Jacobi’s contributions to mathematics and why it pertains to you, a brief biography of Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi: Born December 10, 1804 in Potsdam, Germany, Jacobi was tutored by his uncle in his early childhood. At the age of 11, Jacobi began taking senior classes in his first year at the Gymnasium (secondary school), and by the time he was 13 Jacobi applied to the University of Berlin but because he was not 16, he continued at Gymnasium for four more years and continued study mathematics outside the classroom. At the University of Berlin, Jacobi pursued his doctorate in mathematics. At the age of 20, Jacobi was qualified to teach mathematics, Greek, and Latin. However, because of his religion, Jacobi converted to Christianity in order to accept a teaching position at the University of Berlin, in 1825. As a teacher, Jacobi’s personality and clarity during his lectures attracted many students. The following year Jacobi became a mathematics professor at the University of Königsberg. Later in 1844, Jacobi moved to Berlin where the University of Berlin gave him a more-than-sufficient stipend. Not only was Jacobi a mathematician, he was also politically involved. His stipend was cut off when he unsuccessfully presented a speech to the Liberal Club after suppression of the revolution. In 1851, Jacobi...
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