Person: Bellavitis, Giusto
Giusto Bellavitis was an Italian mathematician who worked on a large range of mathematical topics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Bassano had been a dependency of Venice since 1405 but in 1796, just seven years before Giusto was born, Napoleon defeated the Austrians at a battle there.
- Given that he was receiving no pay it is remarkable how conscientious he was in carrying out his duties! Bellavitis did spend most of his free time working on mathematics, however, and he published important papers starting from 1834.
- It was in that year that Bellavitis gave formulae for the areas of polygons which were discovered independently by von Staudt in 1842.
- Bellavitis believed that algebra had to be founded on geometry, and that number systems could only be defined through geometric concepts.
- According to Bellavitis, the plane does not just provide a means to represent complex numbers.
- Starting in 1832 Bellavitis developed geometrically the algebra of complex numbers.
- Later on, in 1858, Bellavitis included the system of quaternions into his geometric calculus.
- Bellavitis was appointed professor of mathematics and mechanics at Vicenza in 1843.
- In 1867, Bellavitis moved from the chair of geometry at Padua to take the chair of complementary algebra and analytic geometry there.
- In addition to the work described above, Bellavitis made significant contributions to algebraic geometry, where he classified curves in particular completing Newton's classification of cubic curves, and descriptive geometry with an important textbook on the topic.
- It will be seen from this that Bellavitis worked on a large range of mathematical topics.
- As a young man, Bellavitis weighted the problem of a universal scientific language and published a paper on this subject in 1863.
- Bellavitis received many honours after the difficult start to his career.
Born 22 November 1803, Bassano, Vicenza (now Italy). Died 6 November 1880, Tezze (near Bassano) Italy.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Algebra, Origin Italy
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive