Born in Hanover, Germany, I studied mathematics at Göttingen, Erlangen, and Munich, eventually writing my doctoral thesis on non-Euclidean geometry under the supervision of Felix Klein.
While teaching mathematics in Würzburg and at the University of Freiburg, I used the fact that eπi = -1 to devise a proof that π is a transcendental number, or not a root of any polynomial with rational coefficients.
Later, I took a teaching position at the University of Königsberg, where I supervised the doctoral work of sixty students, including great ones such as David Hilbert, Hermann Minkowski, and Arnold Sommerfeld.
Another passion of mine was the history of mathematics, where, with my wife's key assistance, I translated and revised many important mathematical works, including some of Poincaré's writings.
Some claim I was one of the founders of the modern German educational system, which emphasizes the development of the seminar and the use of lectures to communicate ongoing research results with students.
Ferdinand von Lindemann (1852 - 1939)