**Gino Fano** was an Italian mathematician whose work was mainly on projective and algebraic geometry. He is best known as the founder of the finite geometry.

- Ugo Fano was a follower of Giuseppe Garibaldi and strongly in favour of Italian unification.
- On 17 March 1861, ten years before Gino's birth, the Kingdom of Italy was formally created but it was only just before Gino was born that Italian troops captured Rome.
- Gino grew up in the newly created country which suffered many problems but also had a new confidence in education.
- Fano studied at the University of Turin which he entered in 1888.
- Castelnuovo had been appointed as D'Ovidio's assistant in Turin the year before Fano began his studies and Corrado Segre had been appointed to the chair of higher geometry in Turin the year that Fano entered the University of Turin.
- This was an exciting place for research in geometry and it is not surprising that Fano was led to specialise in this area.
- In 1892 Fano graduated from Turin and then, in 1893, he went to Göttingen to undertake research and of course to study under Felix Klein.
- Corrado Segre corresponded regularly with Klein and in this way Fano had been brought to Klein's attention.
- This had led to Fano translating the Erlanger Programm into Italian while he was an undergraduate at Turin and it had been published in the Annali di matematica in 1890.
- Of course Fano did indeed study with Klein in Göttingen where he attended his lectures.
- Fano became Castelnuovo's assistant in Rome in 1894, a position he held for four years.
- Following this assistantship, Fano went to Messina in the extreme northeastern Sicily where he worked from 1899 to 1901.
- By this time Fano was far away in Turin where he had been appointed as professor at the University in 1901.
- After this Fano went to Switzerland where he taught Italian students at an international camp near Lausanne.
- Fano's work was mainly on projective and algebraic geometry.
- Fano was a pioneer in finite geometry and one of the first people to try to set geometry on an abstract footing.
- Fano wrote many textbooks, examples of which are his famous geometry texts "Lezioni di geometria descrittiva" Ⓣ(Lessons on descriptive geometry) (1914) and "Lezioni di geometria analitica e proiettiva" Ⓣ(Lessons on analytical and projective geometry) (1930).

Born 5 January 1871, Mantua, Italy. Died 8 November 1952, Verona, Italy.

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Algebra, Geometry, Origin Italy

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