TY - JOUR

T1 - Elli Heesch, Heinrich Heesch and Hilbert’s eighteenth problem

T2 - collaborative research between philosophy, mathematics and application

AU - Reichenberger, Andrea

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

PY - 2023

Y1 - 2023

N2 - This paper examines the hitherto unknown scientific collaboration between the siblings Elli Heesch (1904–1993) and Heinrich Heesch (1906–1995). Heinrich Heesch, a well-known mathematician, was spearheading the early development of the computer-aided proof of the four-colour theorem. Much less is known about his sister Elli Heesch, a philosopher and logician. Together with her brother she investigated tiling problems and worked out a solution of Hilbert’s 18th problem. In 1944, Elli and Heinrich Heesch wrote a joint treatise on the industrial application of the tessellation method, which was of great interest to the German war and armaments industry. The collaboration of the Heesch siblings illustrates individual, disciplinary, cultural, and political aspects of knowledge production. The common interplay of close family relations and socio-political conditions that we find here underlines the fact that women’s contributions to solving mathematical problems often remained invisible.

AB - This paper examines the hitherto unknown scientific collaboration between the siblings Elli Heesch (1904–1993) and Heinrich Heesch (1906–1995). Heinrich Heesch, a well-known mathematician, was spearheading the early development of the computer-aided proof of the four-colour theorem. Much less is known about his sister Elli Heesch, a philosopher and logician. Together with her brother she investigated tiling problems and worked out a solution of Hilbert’s 18th problem. In 1944, Elli and Heinrich Heesch wrote a joint treatise on the industrial application of the tessellation method, which was of great interest to the German war and armaments industry. The collaboration of the Heesch siblings illustrates individual, disciplinary, cultural, and political aspects of knowledge production. The common interplay of close family relations and socio-political conditions that we find here underlines the fact that women’s contributions to solving mathematical problems often remained invisible.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85186184453&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/26375451.2023.2297522

DO - 10.1080/26375451.2023.2297522

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85186184453

SN - 2637-5451

VL - 38

SP - 208

EP - 228

JO - British Journal for the History of Mathematics

JF - British Journal for the History of Mathematics

IS - 3

ER -