Person: Conforto, Fabio
Fabio Conforto was an Italian mathematician who worked in algebraic geometry, projective geometry and analytic geometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Ruggero and Irene Conforto were Italian speaking, but of course in Vienna they were now living in a German speaking city.
- The young Fabio heard Italian spoken at home but when he began attending elementary school everything was in German.
- Vienna, of course, is the city of music and this had a major impact on young Fabio.
- Fabio faced problems at school too, since he could only read and write in German and now had to rapidly learn to read and write in Italian.
- Conforto completed his schooling at a Liceo Scientifico, undertaking the work of the final two years in a single year and taking the State Examination one year early.
- Conforto loved to watch ships approaching the harbour, the sparkle of the sun on the water fascinated him, but even more than the sun he enjoyed watching thunderstorms.
- To help with the expense of the boat trip, Conforto worked for a number of hours a day serving the crew and passengers.
- Conforto was able to take over his role and gave brilliant performances.
- Chisini was able to give Conforto advice based on his own experiences for Chisini had studied engineering before finding that algebraic geometry was the right area for him.
- Taking Chisini's advice, in the autumn of 1928 Conforto entered the University of Rome where he attended lectures by Vito Volterra, Tullio Levi-Civita, Guido Castelnuovo and Federigo Enriques.
- He was particularly influenced by Volterra and Conforto's first papers reflect this: Metrica e fondamenti di calcolo differenziale assoluto in uno spazio funzionale continuo Ⓣ(Metrics and fundamental absolute differential calculus in a space of continuous functionals) appeared in 1930 and, in the following year, the two papers Parallelismo negli spazi funzionali continui Ⓣ(Parallelism in spaces of continuous functionals) and Formalismo matematico in uno spazio funzionale continuo retto da un elemento lineare di seconda specie Ⓣ(Mathematical formalism in a space of continuous functionals from a linear element of the second kind).
- Conforto graduated with his laurea on 3 July 1931 and, having won a scholarship to enable him to study abroad, was able to go to Germany in the autumn of 1931 where he spent the academic year 1931-32 at the University of Göttingen.
- After training, Conforto was attached to the 13th Artillery Regiment in Rome.
- Castelnuovo retired from teaching in 1935 and at this time Conforto became Enrico Bompiani's assistant.
- In addition to his duties as an assistant in algebraic geometry, Conforto also worked at Mauro Picone's National Institute for the Applications of Calculus.
- Conforto entered the competition to fill Scorza's chair but war intervened at a crucial stage in Conforto's career.
- Conforto was one of the first to be called for military service and he joined his regiment in Foligno, in central Italy.
- Conforto returned to Rome to take up his professorship but his stay there was short-lived.
- For the third time, Conforto was called up for military service and he was sent to the French front.
- Conforto, worried by these events, volunteered in August for military service again to defend his country.
- Conforto joined the Italian army in Reggio Calabria.
- Conforto was taken prisoner and paraded through the streets of Reggio Calabria along with other prisoners.
- Conforto was released and sent to Lecce, an area under Allied control, where he worked at the Ministry of War and taught at the Military Academy.
- The range of Conforto's mathematical publications is great with contributions to algebraic geometry, projective geometry, and analytic geometry.
- In 1947 Conforto was sent by the Ministry of Education to Bressanone, in the South Tyrol, as a commissioner to the German language schools.
Born 13 August 1909, Trieste, Austro-Hungary (now Italy). Died 24 February 1954, Rome, 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