Person: Bortolotti, Ettore
Ettore Bortolotti was an Italian mathematician who worked in various areas in analysis. He was interested in the history of mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Bortolotti, at the time a 20 year old student, attended the course given by Cesare Arzelà.
- Bortolotti was Dean of the Faculty at Modena in 1913-19, then he was appointed professor of geometry at the University of Bologna where he remained for the rest of his life, retiring in 1936.
- Bortolotti studied topology at first but later went in the direction of analysis considering the calculus of finite differences, continued fractions, convergence of infinite algorithms, summation of series, the asymptotic behaviour of series and improper integrals.
- We should note that Bortolotti published Ruffini's Complete Works in two volumes, the first in 1915.
- However, in defending the originality of Cataldi, Bortolotti does so in a manner which is not free from partiality.
- Bortolotti also studied Fibonacci, del Ferro, Tartaglia, Cardan, Ferrari.
- In 1915 Bortolotti wrote a paper on the National Italian Institute in the Napoleonic period while in 1929 he published the previously lost work of Books 4 and 5 of Bombelli's Algebra (Bortolotti's text was republished in 1966).
- In 1924 Bortolotti made an important discovery.
- His book Algebra geometrica Ⓣ(Geometric algebra), written around 1575, was unpublished and unknown until 1924 when it was discovered in the University of Bologna archives by Bortolotti.
- Bortolotti's discovery was certainly an important event in the history of mathematics.
- In 1937 Bortolotti attended the fourth International Congress of the History of Sciences held in Prague.
- In the 1939 paper on Torricelli, Bortolotti gives a concise survey of Torricelli's geometrical investigations, giving his theorems and proofs in modern symbols as well as in the original form.
- In the 1940 paper on Babylonian mathematics, Bortolotti gives a summary of problems published by Neugebauer but argues that the fact that large series of examples for quadratic equations are made up from the same roots demonstrates that this pair of roots has an 'arcane mystic property'.
Born 6 March 1866, Bologna, Kingdom of Sardinia (now Italy). Died 17 February 1947, Bologna, Italy.
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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