Carl Jacobi

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Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi (1804-1851) was a prominent and prolific German mathematician best known for his work on elliptic functions. Jacobi was described by mathematical historian E.T. Bell as "The Great Algorist" for his contributions to analysis.[1] He is credited with advancing differential equations, and the Hamilton-Jacobi equation in quantum mechanics is named after him.

Jacobi was homeschooled until the age 12, during which he was taught the classics and mathematics by one of his maternal uncles.[2] Jacobi was known as an extremely hard worker.

Jacobi died at age 47 from smallpox.


  1. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics", at 327 (1937).
  2. Id. at 327.