The Swedish mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler (1846-1927) is well-known for founding Acta Mathematica, the first international mathematical journal. A "post-doctoral" student in Paris and Berlin (1873-76), Mittag-Leffler built on Karl Weierstrass' work by proving the Mittag-Leffler theorem, roughly: a meromorphic function is specified by its poles, their multiplicities, and the coefficients in the principal part of its Laurent expansion. In this thesis, I explore the evolution of the Mittag-Leffler theorem, from its initial (1876) state to its final (1884) version. Aspects of the details of Mittag-Leffler's work at various stages are analyzed to demonstrate the evolution of Mittag-Leffler's technique. A key finding of the thesis is that Mittag-Leffler's research on infinite sets of singular points attracted him to Georg Cantor's set-theoretic work. The incorporation of Cantor's theory was controversial, but demonstrates Mittag-Leffler's important role in the promotion of abstract mathematics over the more concrete mathematics of the previous era.
Copyright is held by the author.
The author has not granted permission for the file to be printed nor for the text to be copied and pasted. If you would like a printable copy of this thesis, please contact email@example.com.
Member of collection