# Karl Mikhailovich Peterson

**Karl Mikhailovich Peterson** (1828–1881) was a Russian mathematician, known by an earlier formulation of the Gauss–Codazzi equations.

Karl Mikhailovich Peterson | |
---|---|

Born | |

Died | April 19, 1881 52) | (aged

Alma mater | University of Dorpat |

Known for | Peterson–Codazzi equations |

Scientific career | |

Fields | Mathematics |

Thesis | Über die Biegung der Flächen (On the bending of surfaces) (1853) |

Doctoral advisor | Ferdinand Minding |

## Life and work

Peterson was born in a peasant family. He studied at the *Gymnasium* of Riga and, after, in the university of Dorpat (now Tartu under Ferdinand Minding.[1]

Nothing of his life is known about the ten years after his graduation. In unknown date he went to Moscow where he taught in the German *Gymnasium Peter and Paul* of this city from 1865.[2] Peterson never had an academic position at university level, but he was one of the founders of the Moscow Mathematical Society with Nikolai Brashman and August Davidov. Peterson was a notable collaborator in the journal of the Society and he is considered the founder of the Moscow school of geometry.[3]

Peterson gave, in his graduation dissertation (1853, but not published until later), an earliest formulation of the fundamental equations of the surface theory,[4] now usually known as Gauss–Codazzi equations, sometimes Peterson–Codazzi equations.

During his time in Moscow, Peterson published some important papers about differential geometry.[5] In 1879, the university of Odessa awarded him an honorary degree.

## References

- Phillips, pages 141–2.
- Phillips, page 157.
- Laptev & Rozenfeld, page 24.
- Reich, page 335.
- Phillips, pages 156–9.

## Bibliography

- Laptev, B.L.; Rozenfeld, B.A. (1996). "Geometry". In Andrei N. Kolmogorov; Adolf Andrei P. Yushkevich (eds.).
*Mathematics of the 19th Century: Geometry, Analytic Function Theory*. Birkhäuser. pp. 1–118. ISBN 0-8176-5048-2. - Phillips, Esther R. (1979). "Karl M. Peterson: The earliest derivation of the Mainardi–Codazzi equations and the fundamental theorem of surface theory".
*Historia Mathematica*.**6**(2): 137–163. doi:10.1016/0315-0860(79)90075-2. ISSN 0315-0860. - Reich, Karin (1994). "Differential Geometry". In Ivor Grattan-Guinness (ed.).
*Companion Encyclopedia of the History and Philosophy of the Mathematical Sciences*. Routledge. pp. 331–341. ISBN 0-415-09238-8.

## External links

- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Karl Mikhailovich Peterson",
*MacTutor History of Mathematics archive*, University of St Andrews. - Youschkevitch, A.P.; Grigorian, A.T. "Peterson, Karl Mikhailovich".
*Dictionary of Scientific Biography*. Retrieved 15 April 2017.