Person: Casorati, Felice
Felice Casorati is best remembered for the Casorati-Weierstrass theorem characterising the behaviour of a function near an essential singularity.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Francesco Casorati was a medical man who researched in physiology at the University of Pavia.
- Felice was a student at Pavia and initially his interests were in engineering and architecture.
- While in Germany in 1864, Casorati became familiar with he ideas of Riemann and Weierstrass on complex function theory and then spread these ideas through his lectures and contacts.
- After returning from the first of his journeys in 1859, Casorati was appointed as extraordinary professor of algebra and analytic geometry at the University of Pavia.
- Casorati wrote one major book and published 49 research papers.
- Casorati is best remembered for the Casorati- Weierstrass theorem which says that an analytic function comes arbitrarily close to any given value in any neighbourhood of an essential singularity.
- Weierstrass proved this in a paper of 1876 and, although he had proved it some time before publication, Casorati had already included it in his 1868 treatise Teoria delle funzioni di variabili complesse Ⓣ(Theory of functions of a complex variable).
- Although Neuenschwander shows that priority rests with Casorati, nevertheless Weierstrass did prove a lemma in 1841 which was needed by Casorati in his proof.
- Casorati was an energetic correspondent and much still survives that gives an inside picture of the scientific and academic life in Italian universities in the second half of the 19th century.
- Among the mathematicians with whom Casorati corresponded we find Eneström, Fuchs, Hermite, Kronecker, Schwarz, Prym, Mittag-Leffler and Schläfli (no fewer than 108 letters with him).
- Casorati, in these papers, is seen clearly as one of the principal figures in the transmission of German and French mathematics to the new generation of Italian mathematicians such as Betti, Beltrami and others.
- Casorati received many honours.
Born 17 December 1835, Pavia (now Italy). Died 11 September 1890, Casteggio, 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