Person: Ionescu, Ion
Ion Ionescu was a Romanian mathematician and engineer. He was one of the founders of the Gazeta Matematica and contributed a remarkable number of articles and problems to the journal. One of these problems is now known as the Ionescu-Weitzenböck inequality. He is also famed as an engineer for building bridges.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- In 1878, when he was seven year old, Ion began his primary school education in nearby Carbuneşti.
- Realising that he was close to death Nicolae gave Ion advice which would be decisive for his life and career.
- After a while his studies began to be aimed at a specific goal, namely to allow him to compete in the recently instituted competition for admission to the National School of Bridges and Roads set up in 1881.
- This competition aimed at enrolling students of the highest quality to the National School.
- Let us note here that the National School of Bridges and Roads became the Polytechnic School of Bucharest and then in 1992 became the Polytechnic University of Bucharest.
- In 1889 Ionescu took the entrance examination, was placed first and awarded a scholarship.
- This meant he could study the preparatory year course, at the end of which he took the even more demanding examination which allowed entry to the first year of studies.
- Ionescu was not only a diligent, brilliant student in examinations but he provided substantial help to his teachers by assisting in writing the course of rational mechanics with Kirilov.
- Of his teachers, perhaps the one who influenced him most was Istrati who was a model lecturer, giving clear presentations, and his style did much to influence Ionescu's style when he became a lecturer.
- Ionescu graduated from the National School of Bridges and Roads in 1894 with an engineering degree.
- After graduating in 1894, Ionescu was employed as a railway engineer, working on the Cernavoda-Fetesti 21 km line connecting the Cernavoda-Constanta railway line and the new Bucharest-Fetesti railway line.
- In conclusion, it was proposed to set up a Romanian mathematics journal for "our high school students".
- Over the years from 1895 to 2005, Ionescu published 421 articles in the Gazeta Matematica, well over double that of any other contributor over this period.
- Let us at this stage say a little about the best known of the problems that Ionescu contributed.
- (Actually, to be strictly correct, Ionescu stated the contrapositive of this proposition.) A rigorous proof was given by N Muzicescu and published in Gazeta Matematica in 1898, the year after it was posed by Ionescu.
- Weitzenböck's name is attached simply because after he published it in the much more widely read Mathematische Zeitschrift in 1919 it became known as the Weitzenböck inequality but later when Ionescu's earlier statement was noted, it was given its current name.
- This bridge had been designed by Anghel Saligny, who had taught engineering to Ionescu.
- On completing of the Cernavoda-Fetesti line, Ionescu worked on numerous bridge construction projects and other works on the railways.
- Ionescu was delegated to receive the bridges ordered in France and Germany and, as part of these duties, he spent six months in each of these countries.
- As director of the Hydraulic Service, he had to oversee all major construction projects in riverbeds, especially bridge projects.
- One of his major achievements as director of the Hydraulic Service was the creation of the Hydrographic Map of the Danube, an extremely accurate map at the scale of 1:10000, including the navigable channels.
- Ionescu continued to be one of the main figures involved with the Gazeta Matematica and, in 1901, the journal inaugurated the collection of books known as the Mathematical Gazette Library.
- Romania mobilised its army on 5 July 1913 and Ionescu was drafted with the rank of lieutenant.
- For his contribution to the efficient movement of the troops, Ionescu was promoted to captain.
- For his contributions, he was decorated with the Order of Manhood and Faith Grade 1.
- In this position he led the reconstruction works of the metal bridges which had been destroyed during the war.
- In 1919 Ionescu was elected as a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy and Gheorghe Țițeica spoke at the meeting during which he was received into the Academy.
- We have not mentioned before his role as a professor, but he taught for many years as a professor of engineering.
- Among the honours given to Ionescu, he was elected to the Polytechnic Society in 1899, serving as secretary for 13 years.
- To help his former teacher Ionescu, who was seriously ill by 1943, Emil Prager suggested that he print a collection of Ionescu's articles which had appeared in various bulletins and magazines, with the title 'Technical Stories', and give him the income from the sale of the 200 paperbacks signed by him.
- Ion Ionescu's description of the Roman Public Works under Emperor Trajan is not only interesting, but also instructive.
- Ion Ionescu claimed that Emperor Trajan was concerned with ensuring the sanitation of cities and the health of their inhabitants.
- He offered them, therefore, a vast work - spread over 10,000 pages - in which he described, with talent and skill, the history of construction in our country and beyond.
- Professor Ion Ionescu's contribution to the historiography of Romanian constructions was fundamental.
- Ionescu died in 1946 after a long and painful period of suffering.
- 25 to the "Gazeta matematica" Society with instructions that two rooms should be converted into reading rooms for high school students in Bucharest.
- Exactly one year after his death a commemoration of his life was held in the hall which was named for him in the Polytechnic School in Bucharest.
- On this occasion several speeches were made which praised his outstanding achievements.
- In 1995, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Gazeta Matematica, Romania issued a stamp to commemorate "Ion N Ionescu Spiritus rector".
Born 4 December 1870, Stoienoaia, Creata, Ilfov, Romania. Died 17 September 1946, Bucharest, Romania.
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