Person: Chini, Mineo
Mineo Chini was an Italian mathematician who worked on the foundations of mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- When Mineo Chini was born in the Kingdom of Italy, therefore, it was only five years old.
- Mineo Chini studied at the University of Pisa and, in 1888, he was awarded his laurea.
- After graduating, Chini taught in secondary schools.
- Both Pieri and Peano were important influences on Chini's development as a mathematician.
- In 1891 Peano founded Rivista di matematica Ⓣ(Mathematics magazine), a journal devoted mainly to logic and the foundations of mathematics, and he encouraged Chini to publish there which he did in 1893.
- This project was not received with enthusiasm by many mathematicians but Peano encouraged those around him to contribute and Chini was one of the contributors.
- Peano also presented several of Chini's papers to the Turin Academy of Sciences and four such papers by Chini appeared in Atti della R.
- In 1896 Chini won a competition for a professorship at the Technical Institute in Caserta, near Naples.
- A committee, with Ulisse Dini as president, considered Chini's application along with that of seven other candidates, namely Italo Zignago, Giulio Vivanti, Onorato Nicoletti, Rodolfo Bettazzi, Domenico Amanzio, Orazio Tedone and Giuseppe Lauricella.
- Chini underlined how these courses should not have the generality of those given in similar two-year courses in the School of Engineering.
- One of the most widely used of the books Chini wrote was Corso speciale di Matematiche con numero se applicazioni ad uso principalmente dei Chimici e dei Naturalisti Ⓣ(Special course of mathematics with numerous applications to Chemistry and Natural Sciences) published in 1904 based on courses Chini had taught at Pavia.
- from Mechanics and Thermodynamics." With this Chini wants to immediately give an idea of how the results of mathematics can be used outside the abstract field.
- With clarity, Chini was able to successfully present the concepts of sequences, logarithms, combinatorics, determinants, systems of linear equations and their resolution, elements of analytic geometry and of differential and integral calculus while trying to give an idea, through examples taken from physics and chemistry, of how the theory, still under development, could be well utilised outside the abstract field of mathematics.
- Seven editions of the work were published, each one slightly more detailed than the previous one and elaborated on by Chini himself who, using his didactic experience, was trying to give students all those mathematical tools needed in a degree course.
- Chini treated, in a clear and ordered way, differential equations of the first and second order, integration by series of differential equations and partial derivatives of the first and second order.
- In the 1919-20 academic year Chini gave an open course on this topic, consisting of a series of seminars at the Institute of Further Studies in Florence and the result of the experiment was pleasing because there was a high attendance and interest from the students; he then decided to publish the lectures that have been mentioned above.
- Chini noted that, since the aim of these schools (there were five in the whole of Italy: in Venice, Turin, Florence, Naples and Rome) was to award a degree in architecture, it was necessary for students to have basic notions of algebra, analytic geometry and infinitesimal calculus in order to be able to attend the more advanced courses of rational mechanics and the science of constructions.
- In the Lezioni di analisi matematica ad uso delle scuole superiori di architettura Ⓣ(Lectures of mathematical analysis for the use of higher schools of architecture) (Livorno 1932) Chini presented the subject trying not to add too much weight to the course as "these notions should not have the extension and generality" of those that would be normally taught to first and second year engineers and mathematical-physics students.
- Chini's scientific output was mostly in the field of differential geometry.
- Chini examined one of the writings of Eugenio Beltrami, Sulla flessione delle superfici rigate Ⓣ(On the curvature of ruled surfaces), in which the author studied the deformation of such surfaces; Chini was able to reduce to the minimum the number of possible elements that identifies the shape of a ruled surface, he researched the formulae - rather simple in this case - that gave all the bump-shaped surfaces and applied these formulae to treat some problems of the same type, but less simple, than those tackled by Beltrami in his essay.
- In the field of differential geometry Chini worked mostly on surfaces of medium-constant curvature, on WWW-applicable surfaces and surfaces of rotation.
- Chini also enjoyed himself in the writing stories, among which is the sketch Dopo undici anni Ⓣ(After eleven years), where he narrates a love story between a young mathematician from Palermo and a cousin from Massa.
Born 8 May 1866, Massa, Tuscany, Italy. Died 11 November 1933, Florence, 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