Person: Berzolari, Luigi
Luigi Berzolari was an Italian mathematician who worked on algebraic geometry, the theory of forms and differential projective geometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Italy was unified three years before Luigi was born and he grew up in a country that was coming to terms with this important event.
- At the time when Luigi was born, Naples, the city of his birth, was the largest in Italy but it was a city of poverty and disease.
- In 1880 Berzolari entered the University of Pavia and he lived in Ghislieri College, an ancient college founded by pope Pius V in 1567.
- Berzolari entered the competition for the chair of analytic and projective geometry at the University of Rome in 1891.
- Among the candidates who were eligible to enter the competition, in addition to Berzolari, there was Guido Castelnuovo, Alfonso Del Re, and Mario Pieri.
- Castelnuovo was a clear winner and appointed to the chair; Berzolari came third behind Del Re. Two years later, in 1893, Berzolari entered the competition for the chair of projective geometry at the University of Naples.
- In addition to Berzolari, Domenico Montesano, Del Re and Pieri were candidates.
- This proved a very close contest with Montesano just coming out ahead of Berzolari.
- Berzolari was ranked first with Mario Pieri and Alfonso Del Re tied for second place.
- It certainly appeared that Berzolari would spend the rest of his career at Turin but, in 1899, he entered the competition for a chair at the University of Pavia.
- Berzolari showed great courage in opposing fascism in the early days when he was rector but then ceased all attempts at resistance and accepted it as inevitable.
- He wrote over 40 obituaries, including: "Della vita e delle opere di Luigi Cremona" Ⓣ(Of the life and work of Luigi Cremona) (1906), "Commemorazione di Max Noether" Ⓣ(Commemoration of Max Noether) (1921), "Commemorazione di Corrado Segre" Ⓣ(Commemoration of Corrado Segre) (1924), "Commemorazione di Felix Klein" Ⓣ(Commemoration of Felix Klein) (1925), "Cenni necrologici di C Neumann" Ⓣ(Obituary of C Neumann) (1925), "Cenni necrologici di G Ricci Curbastro" Ⓣ(Obituary of G Ricci Curbastro) (1925), "Breve commemorazione di G Mittag-Leffler" Ⓣ(Short commemoration of G Mittag-Leffler) (1927), "Commemorazione di Eugenio Bertini" Ⓣ(Commemoration of Eugenio Bertini) (1933), "Commemorazione di Alexander von Brill" Ⓣ(Commemoration of Alexander von Brill) (1935), and "Commemorazione di Salvatore Pincherle" Ⓣ(Commemoration of Salvatore Pincherle) (1936).
- In the following year a proposal was brought forward by Roberto Bonola for the society to produce a mathematics encyclopaedia and Berzolari was appointed to head the commission (which included Bonola).
- The editorial board was Berzolari together with Duilio Gigli and Giulio Vivanti.
- As well as heading the editorial board, Berzolari wrote a number of articles for the Enciclopedia delle Matematiche Elementari (1923-1950): Calcolo combinatorico Ⓣ(Combinatorial calculation); Elementi della teoria dei gruppi Ⓣ(Elements of group theory); Determinanti Ⓣ(Determinants); and Equazioni lineari Ⓣ(Linear equations); Sostituzioni lineari, forme lineari, bilineari, quadratiche Ⓣ(Linear substitutions, linear, bilinear, quadratic forms).
- Berzolari was honoured in many different ways.
Born 1 May 1863, Naples, Italy. Died 10 December 1949, Pavia, Italy.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive