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Carl Jacobi

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi was a mathematician who was born December 10, 1804 in Potsdam, Kingdom of Prussia. He studied at the University of Berlin and became a Doctor of Philosophy, in 1825. He is recognized as an inspiring teacher of mathematics and he was one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. Jacobi taught mathematics at Königsberg University until 1842 and he died on February 18, 1851, in Berlin where he also taught at the University of Berlin.

When Jacobi was eleven years old he enrolled in the Gymnasium school in Potsdam. He was an excellent student, and in 1817, while still just in his first year of school at the Gymnasium, Jacobi was promoted to the final year of studies at the Gymnasium. While only twelve years old Jacobi was qualified to graduate and to move up to university level classes. However, due to his young age, Jacobi was required to stay at the Gymnasium school until 1821 when at age 16 he could be admitted to the University of Berlin.

Jacobi was known for reading advanced texts and he published works in mathematics during the additional time he spent at the Gymnasium school. He also did advanced research work in mathematics, including studies of how to solve quintic equations (equations having five variables with an exponent of "5" in one of the variables.)

Jacobi is best known for his studies and publications involving elliptic functions. Elliptic functions are equations that describe arc length of an ellipse. An ellipse is most easily illustrated by the shape of a football. A circle is a special ellipse where all the distances from the center to the perimeter of its curve are identical.

A famous quote by Jacobi is, "Invert, always invert" ("man muss immer umkehren"), which describes Jacobi's belief that many hard problems in mathematics can be better understood and explored by re-stating the problems in terms of their inverses.

In 1836, Jacobi was honored for his mathematical and scientific work by...