When he was 18 he entered the University of Halle with the intention of becoming a Protestant minister. As part of his degree, he was asked to take math classes. Over time, he changed his major from theology to mathematics.
In 1831, he won an award for a mathematical essay he had written. In honor of this essay, the university awarded him a doctorate in addition to his teaching certificate. That same year, he was teaching math at the Gymnasium.
In 1832, he received a more permanent post at the Gymnasium in Leignitz. There he remained for 10 years teaching mathematics and physics. One of his students at this time, Leopold Kronecker, became a very famous mathematician. During this time, Krummer also worked hard on mathematical research and wrote a major article on hypergeometric series in 1836. From this article, he began a correspondence with mathematicians Carl Jacobi and Johann Dirichlet. In 1839, when he was still a school teacher, he was elected a member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences.
Life was looking up for Ernst Kummer. In 1840 he married a cousin of Dirichlet and in 1842 he became a full professor at the University of Breslau. Sadly, his wife died in 1848.
In 1855,Kummerhe became a professor of mathematics at the University of Berlin. He was also able to arrange for his colleagues Karl Weierstrass and Leopold Kronecker to also obtain positions at the University of Berlin. From this point, Berlin became one of the main mathematical centers in all of Europe.
For his work on Fermat’s Last Theorem, Kummer won the Grand Prize of the Paris Academy of Sciences in 1857. He was later elected a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London in 1863.
Ernst kummerHe died on May 14, 1893 when he was 83 years old.