Hongyu Fu studied Karl Christian von Langsdorf and shared his study with MCL members in the pre-seminar sharing on February 6th, 2023. Karl Christian von Langsdorf, also known as Carl Christian von Langsdorff, was born 18 May 1757 in Nauheim, and died 10 June 1834 in Heidelberg. He was a German Mathematician, Geologist, Natural scientist and Saltwork Engineer. He is mostly well-known for his specialist in the area of saltworks engineering, and his subject to the 15-year-old Georg Ohm to a thorough examination of his knowledge of mathematics.

Karl Christian von Langsdorf’s father was Georg Melchior Langsdorff, who worked as saltworks archivist and master of the bursary in Nauheim, German. He finished his Gymnasium (secondary school) in Idstein 1773, and went to University of Göttingen to study with Abraham Gotthelf Kästner concerning Philosophy Law Mathematics in 1774, then he went to University of Giessen during 1776 – 1777. He finished his doctorate in 1781 in Erfurt, and then decided against academic career due to his health reasons.

Karl Christian von Langsdorf explored his early career in saltworks. Before his graduation, he  interned at the saltworks in Salzhausen, and devoted himself in Nidda, Hesse to the study of saltworks. After his graduation, he pursued a career in administration and became Rentmeister and land judge in Mülheim an der Ruhr. In 1784, he was active as a saltworks inspector in Gerabronn.

The academic career of Karl Christian von Langsdorf begins in 1798, he was given a full professorship in mechanical engineering at Erlangen, where he subjected the 15-year-old Georg Ohm to a thorough examination of his knowledge of mathematics. During 1803 – 1806, he taught mathematics and technology at Vilnius University in Russia, and returned with the aristocratic descriptor von, and full professor in Heidelberg in 1806. Then during 1806 – 1834, he served as full professor of mathematics in Heidelberg until he passed away.

Karl Christian von Langsdorf published many academic works, mostly explanations, presentations, reviews of other mathematical works, as well as manuals of engineering works. His main contribution lies in his specialist in the area of saltworks engineering, as a MCL member, we need to remember what Karl Christian von Langsdorf brought to us, be proud of him and contribute to the field we choose.

– Hongyu Fu