This scientific monograph marks the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Professor Ernst Nauck (1819–1875) – the first Director of the first university – Riga Polytechnicum – in the territory of Latvia, founded in 1862. It describes the life of Ernst Nauck and his family. Prussian-born Ernst Nauck came to Riga in 1862 and led the development of Riga Polytechnicum, a recognizable institution of university education in the Russian Empire equivalent to the best technical universities in Western Europe in Karlsruhe, Zürich and elsewhere. As Director, Ernst Nauck laid the foundation for a competitive European university – Riga Polytechnicum. Its activities continued in the reorganized Riga Polytechnic Institute (RPI; 1896); in 1919 in the technical faculties of the Latvian Higher School (1923 – University of Latvia, later – State University of Latvia), in 1958 in the renewed RPI and since 1990 in Riga Technical University. In addition to pedagogic and scientific work, the Professor devoted much of his time to societal activities taking part in various societies and caring for the education, growth and well-being of society.
Several years of research have resulted in this monograph, which summarizes the scientific and pedagogical work of Professor E. Nauck, revealing hitherto unknown facts. It also traces the life of the Nauck family, including Ernst Nauck’s abundant progeny.
The scientific monograph is for those interested in Latvian history of science, education and culture, researchers of history of science, academics and university students.