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Felix Hausdorff

Felix Hausdorff (November 8, 1868 - January 26, 1942) was a German mathematician who is considered to be one of the founders of modern topology and who contributed significantly to set theory and functional analysis. He defined and studied partially ordered sets, Hausdorff spaces, and the Hausdorff dimension. He proved the Hausdorff maximality theorem. He published philosophical and literary works under the pseudonym "Paul Mongré".

Hausdorff studied in Leipzig and taught mathematics there until 1910, when he became professor of mathematics in Bonn. When the Nazis came to power, Hausdorff, a Jew, felt that as a respected university professor he was immune. His abstract mathematics was denounced as "Jewish", useless and "un-German" and he lost his position in 1935. He sent his daughter to Great Britain but stayed with his wife in Germany. When in 1942 he could no longer avoid being sent to a concentration camp, he committed suicide together with his wife and sister-in-law.



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