**Otakar Boruvka** was a Czech mathematician known for his work in graph theory.

- With the influence of the military increasing, Boruvka went to the military school in Hranice in northern Moravia.
- In 1920 Boruvka became an assistant at the Institute of Physics and, in the same year, began taking courses also at the Masarak University in Brno.
- Lerch became the first professor of mathematics at this new university and he selected Boruvka to become his research assistant in 1921.
- Boruvka then became Čech's research assistant and Čech interested Boruvka in differential geometry.
- After being awarded his doctorate in 1923, Boruvka continued to undertake research at Masaryk University.
- To many people Boruvka is best known for his solution of the Minimal Spanning Tree problem which he published in 1926 in two papers On a certain minimal problem (Czech) and Contribution to the solution of a problem of economical construction of electrical networks (Czech).
- The problem had been suggested to Boruvka before he became a university student.
- Boruvka was offered a job with West-Moravian Powerplants at this time but declined.
- Moreover, recent development places Boruvka's pioneering work in a new and very contemporary context.
- One can even say that out of many available Minimal Spanning Tree algorithms, Boruvka's algorithm is presently the basis of the fastest known algorithms.
- Čech suggested to Boruvka that he should go abroad and broaden his mathematical horizons.
- An obvious choice, suggested Čech, was Paris where Boruvka could work with Élie Cartan.
- The graph theory work undertaken by Boruvka early in his career did not lead to further work in this area.
- Boruvka had already written a paper on differential equations in 1934, but now he began to direct the research of Masaryk University towards that topic.
- In 1946 Boruvka became an ordinary professor at Masaryk University and in the following year he set up a Differential Equations Seminar.
- Much of his work, and that of others participating in his seminar, is contained in Boruvka's book Lineare differential- transformationen 2.
- Among the many honours which Boruvka receiced were election to the Czech Academy of Sciences (corresponding member 1953, ordinary member 1965), and honorary doctorates from Bratislava (1969) and Brno (1994).

Born 10 May 1899, Uhersky Ostroh, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic). Died 22 July 1995, Brno, Czech Republic.

View full biography at MacTutor

Origin Czech Republic

**O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive