Mathematician:Felix Christian Klein

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German mathematician best known for his work establishing the connections between geometry and group theory.

Architect of the Erlangen program, which classifies geometries according to their symmetry groups.

Noted for the Klein bottle and the Klein $4$-group.

Not to be confused with Morris Kline.




  • Born: 25 April 1849 in Düsseldorf, Prussia (now Germany)
  • 1875: Married Anne Hegel, the granddaughter of the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
  • Died: 22 June 1925 in Göttingen, Germany

Theorems and Definitions

Results named for Felix Christian Klein can be found here.

Definitions of concepts named for Felix Christian Klein can be found here.


Notable Quotes

Plato said, "God is a geometer." Jacobi changed this to, "God is an arithmetician." Then came Kronecker and fashioned the memorable expression, "God created the natural numbers, and all the rest is the work of man."
-- Quoted as an epigraph to the preface to 1980: David M. Burton: Elementary Number Theory (revised ed.)

Also known as

Felix Christian Klein is also sometimes reported as Christian Felix Klein.


... and while we're about it

A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Möbius band was divine.
He said, "If you glue
The edges of two,
You get a weird bottle like mine."
-- Leo Moser
-- (Quoted by Martin Gardner in one of his Mathematical Games columns in Scientific American, c. $\text {1960}$ – $\text {70}$)