Person: Hronec, Jur
Jur Hronec was a Slovak mathematician who made extraordinary contributions to the development of higher mathematics in Slovakia. He was a major figure in establishing several universities in Slovakia.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- He always used the name Jur, never Juraj, so we will use Jur Hronec throughout this biography.
- Jur Hronec grew up in harsh conditions.
- Jur Hronec said he wanted to be a doctor but the teacher laughed at him and told him the best he could hope for was to kill and dissect pigs in the village, not treat people.
- Jur was happy when the teacher left after one year.
- Jur Hronec had to undertake this very hard work on a very poor diet.
- This did not please Jur at all for he wanted to continue his studies at a secondary school.
- Also when Jur was in the sixth grade he was confirmed into the Evangelical Church at a ceremony in the church in the nearby town of Vlachovo.
- Life had been hard for Hronec so he longed for an easier time and looked forward to studying at the Evangelical Grammar School in Roznava.
- The director of the Evangelical Grammar School in Roznava was Michal Oravec and he was a kind man who looked after Hronec making sure his studies went well.
- Things were not easy for him at first since instruction was in Hungarian, which was not Hronec's native language.
- To help fund his studies in Roznava, Hronec began giving private tuition in mathematics and Latin to less able pupils whose parents were wealthy.
- These visits were not only important financially, but they also gave Hronec a broad understanding of the different regions, their peoples and their customs.
- He became Hronec's dissertation advisor.
- Hronec graduated from the University of Kolozsvár in 1906 with the dissertation Matematika ako prostriedok vychovy charakteru Ⓣ(Mathematics as a means of character education) and spent the following year qualifying as a mathematics teacher.
- His method of teaching was never to write anything on the blackboard but to have the pupils do that, never with direct instructions but rather only with Hronec asking questions to help them.
- Hronec loved teaching and wrote books on the subject including School teaching and the mentality of teaching.
- Hronec undertook research advised by Schlesinger and was awarded a doctorate from Giessen after defending his dissertation Fuchssche Periodenrelationen für lineare Differentialsysteme Ⓣ(Fuchsian period relations for linear differential systems) there in 1912.
- Hronec decided that he wanted to enter university teaching and work for the improvement of higher education in Slovakia.
- From the autumn of 1936 Hronec was chairman of an action committee which aimed to establish a Slovak Technical University, a Faculty of Science and a University of Economics in Slovakia.
- Hronec became the first rector of this new university on 4 August 1938 but the First Vienna Award signed on 2 November 1938 ceded Košice to Hungary so the Technical University in Košice was never officially opened.
- Hronec also took part in the establishment of the Faculty of Science of the Slovak University in Bratislava on 1 October 1940, where he began working as an unpaid professor.
- The University of Commerce was also established in Bratislava in October 1940 by the Department of Business Engineering of the Slovak Technical University and Hronec became its first dean.
- Jur Hronec received many honours for his contributions to mathematics in Czechoslovakia.
- Hronec died after a short illness in Bratislava but, according to his wishes, he was buried in his native village of Gocovo.
Born 17 May 1881, Gocovo, Roznava District, Kingdom of Hungary (now Slovakia). Died 1 December 1959, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia).
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive