Daniel Misselbeck-Wessel, Ph.D.

Alfried Krupp Junior Fellow
(October 2023 - September 2024) 

  • Studied mathematics in Munich, Berlin, Trent and Verona. Doctorate (Dott. Ric. / PhD) in Trento (2018)

  • Research assistant at the Mathematical Institute of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (2021), until 2022 Postdoc at the Faculty of Computer Science of the University of Verona, Lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Greifswald

Fellow project: "In Search of Gentzen's Lost Work on the Foundations of Arithmetic and Analysis“

Antinomies in the foundations of mathematics spawned some of the great research narratives in the 20th century. In order to secure mathematics from such paradoxes, David Hilbert devised a programme built on a formalisation of mathematical proofs -- an endeavour that was doomed by Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems. Gerhard Gentzen (Greifswald 1909 - Prague 1945) aimed at resolving the situation created by Gödel's insights. Gentzen reformulated the basic logical system, and identified a principle by which the strength of formal arithmetic could be pinned down. He spent the rest of his short life trying to extend his results from arithmetic to analysis. Gentzen perished in the aftermath of WWII. After futile attempts at recovering his notes, two folders of handwritten manuscripts emerged in 1984. Further decades elapsed before this bequest could reveal its value. The deciphering of Gentzen’s notes, however, is an endeavour that has come to an unfortunate halt, not least due to an intrinsic difficulty: the notes are written in shorthand. In this project, decisive steps will be taken towards a comprehensive editorial project that makes Gentzen's unknown work available to future generations of scholars.