About the Author
Richard Courant (1888-1972) obtained his doctorate at the University of Göttingen in 1910. Here, he became Hilbert¿s assistant. He returned to Göttingen to continue his research after World War I, and founded and headed the university's Mathematical Institute. In 1933, Courant left Germany for England, from whence he went on to the United States after a year. In 1936, he became a professor at the New York University. Here, he headed the Department of Mathematics and was Director of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences - which was subsequently renamed the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Among other things, Courant is well remembered for his achievement regarding the finite element method, which he set on a solid mathematical basis and which is nowadays the most important way to solve partial differential equations numerically.