Mathematical Institute of the University of Göttingen
Bunsenstrasse 3-5
37073 Göttingen

Public exhibition: yes
Open: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m
Admission free
Guided tours: by appointment

Contact person:
Prof. Dr. Laurent Bartholdi
Tel.: +49 551 39-7752

Over 500 objects can be viewed, including many geometric models made of plaster, wood, cardboard, thread or metal, as well as calculating machines, drawing instruments, integraphs, kinematic and mechanical models. The oldest models are cardboard polyhedra from 1780. However, most of the objects date from the period between 1870 and 1920 and provide a rich insight into the mathematics of this era, in which Göttingen became one of the most important mathematical centers in the world at the time.

The following names in particular are associated with the creation of the collection: Impulses came from Alfred Clebsch (1833–1872), Hermann Amandus Schwarz (1843–1921) is considered the founder of the collection, and Felix Klein (1849–1925) expanded it with new models .

Mathematics deals with abstract structures, the visualization of which is extremely important. In the 19th century, professors and students constructed models to illustrate surfaces and other mathematical objects. Many of these were mass-produced and purchased by universities for teaching purposes. But they were also used for mathematical research. Nowadays the models are of great interest in the history of science. They are also being rediscovered for use in mathematical teaching. The models also repeatedly find the interest of artists who are inspired by them.

Ina Kersten

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