◀ ▲ ▶History / 18th-century / Person: De Wronski, Josef-Maria Hoëné
Person: De Wronski, Josef-Maria Hoëné
Jozéf Wronski wrote on the philosophy of mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Josef Hoëné was educated in Poznań and Warsaw but in 1794 he became involved in the Kosciuszko Uprising.
- Hoëné Wronski was also taken prisoner, and made to serve in the Russian army which he did until 1797 when he was released having reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.
- It was at this time that he adopted the surname Wronski but he did not use it consistently, rather alternately used Wronski and Hoehne.
- When writing papers, however, he used the name Hoëné Wronski without the use of any first name.
- Wronski also had a difficult personality, and has been accused, not without plausibility, of arrogance, charlatanry, paranoia, and other blemishes of character.
- His first memoir on the foundations of mathematics was published there in 1810 but, after it received less than good reviews from Lacroix and Lagrange, Wronski broke off relations with the Institute in Paris.
- Wronski's work here, although of course wrong, nevertheless still has important applications and contains interesting novel ideas.
- Wronski spent the years 1819 to 1822 in London.
- As always seemed to happen with Wronski's ventures, it degenerated into an argument which had little to do with the science.
- Out of this came his "universal Hoëné-Wronski series" or "la série universelle de Wronski".
- The coefficients in this series are determinants now known as Wronskians (so named by Muir in 1882).
- In the Prospectus, Wronski argued that conventional tables are expensive, are bulky, have too many pages to turn, and frighten people.
- Some of these devices should be called pre-electronic calculators, and in fact Wronski called one of his inventions the 'calculateur universel'.
- For many years all Wronski's work was dismissed as rubbish.
Born 23 August 1778, Wolsztyn, Poland. Died 8 August 1853, Neuilly-sur-Seine (near Paris), France.
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Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin Poland
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive