Person: Dickstein, Samuel
Samuel Dickstein was a Polish mathematician whose work was mostly in algebra and the history of mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Poland did not formally exist at the time of Dickstein's birth and much of the pattern of his life was dominated by the aim of Poles to restore their country.
- In 1846, three years before Dickstein was born, there was an attempted revolution by Polish nationalists.
- Some reforms were put in place in the Russian areas of Poland (which included Warsaw where Dickstein lived) but these only seemed to invoke anger among young patriotic Poles.
- For a year Dickstein, a youth aged 12, saw the Polish uprising being crushed.
- The victorious Russian occupiers then carried out executions, confiscations, and deportations, and one can only imagine how a young man like Dickstein might have felt knowing that Poles could not hope to rule their own country again in the foreseeable future.
- There was no Polish university for Dickstein to attend so, in 1866, he entered one of the only higher education establishments in Warsaw, the teacher's college.
- From 1870 to 1876 Dickstein attended this Russian university in Warsaw specialising in mathematics.
- With the education system controlled by the Russian rulers, Dickstein decided to do what he could to promote a Polish education and he directed his own private school for ten years beginning in 1878.
- Dickstein was one of the main instigators of publishing mathematical journals in Poland.
- It was not only with his role in publishing that Dickstein made a major contribution to Polish mathematics.
- In 1903 Dickstein was a founder of the Warsaw Scientific Society and he was important in the development of the Polish Mathematical Society.
- Dickstein was one of two mathematicians in this founding group of fourteen, and was elected as secretary of the group.
- A Mathematical Study was set up with Dickstein donating a fine library of mathematical texts.
- Dickstein taught in the newly established university, giving the first year lectures on algebra.
- Dickstein's work was mostly in algebra and the history of mathematics.
- Ulam, at age 23, met Dickstein, who was then in his eighties, at the International Mathematical Congress in Zürich in 1932.
- Dickstein's teacher had been a student of Cauchy in the early nineteenth century, and he still considered Poincaré, who died in 1912, a bright young man.
Born 12 May 1851, Warsaw, Russian Empire (now Poland). Died 29 September 1939, Warsaw, Poland.
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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