The Man Behind the 1900 Speech

The Man Behind the 1900 Speech

The Millennium Prized Problem event declares the seven unsolved mathematical problems not just in this generation but in the previous eras as well. Solving them is no Amsterdam holiday. You cannot buy solutions with just voucher codes. A mathematician needs to put time and effort to solve these problems. This event, and subsequently, this tech blog, will not be available if not for a 1900 speech from a man named David Hilbert. Who is David Hilbert? What did he do to have the audacity to mention 23 unsolved problems at that time and to challenge the mathematicians of that era to try and solve all of them?

David Hilbert

He was a German mathematician who lived from 1862 to 1943. He was recognized as one of the most popular and most influential mathematicians of all time. His work over a wide range of fields has continued to help mathematicians of varying generations. Some of these fields include Commutative Algebra, Algebra Number Theory, Integral Equations, Mathematical Physics, and Invariant Theory.

He was also a very adamant man. He was the one who defended Cantor’s theory of transfinite numbers. Because of his efforts in mathematics, he is known as the father of Proof Theory and Mathematical Logic.

1900 Speech

One of the most recognizable events in mathematics was the time when a speech was delivered by David Hilbert in the 1900s. His presentation of the problems that existed at that time paved the way for mathematicians to discover new topics and develop new research on various ideas. The continuous pursuit of answers to questions by mathematicians gave a new direction to mathematics.


Hilbert had his doctorate in 1885. He worked at the University of Königsberg as the senior lecturer. He also became a professor at the University of Göttingen. But it is in his works that he truly stood out as one of the best mathematicians of all time. in 1888, Hilbert was able to solve Gordan’s Problem. This problem describes the finiteness of generators for binary forms. But the calculations for this theorem was too massive that it was not proven yet. That is until David Hilbert had a different approach to the problem and gave an existence proof for it.