Person: Segre (2), Beniamino
Beniamino Segre was an Italian mathematician who was a major contributor to algebraic geometry and was one of the founders of finite geometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Beniamino attended school in Turin and, at the age of sixteen having won a university scholarship, he entered Turin University in 1919.
- His teachers at Turin University included Guiseppe Peano, Gino Fano, Guido Fubini, Carlo Somigliana and Corrado Segre.
- His thesis advisor was Corrado Segre.
- Few mathematicians have published a substantial paper in a totally different area of mathematics from their thesis in the year they graduated but this is exactly what Segre achieved publishing Sul moto sferico vorticoso di un fluide incompressibile Ⓣ(On vortex spherical motion of an incompressible fluid) (1923).
- After studying in Paris with Élie Cartan for the year 1926-27, supported by a Rockefeller scholarship, Segre became Francesco Severi's assistant in Rome.
- Article 4 of the Royal Decree Law of 5 September 1938 was titled 'Measures for the defence of race in fascist schools' and, after Segre had been identified as Jewish by the University of Bologna, he was expelled from the University on 16 October 1938.
- Of course, despite the extremely difficult circumstances, Segre continued to devote himself to mathematics, writing the monograph The Non-singular Cubic Surfaces during these years.
- Segre was appointed to a teaching post in Manchester with Louis Mordell in 1942.
- Segre's output of research papers on geometry and related topics reached nearly 300 not counting a long list of other publications.
- Segre's contributions to geometry are many but, particularly in the latter part of his life, he is remembered for his study of geometries over fields other than the complex numbers.
- By 1955 Segre was concentrating on geometries over a finite field and was producing results which we would now class as combinatorics rather than geometry.
- ended with Segre and another member of the audience occupying opposite ends of the blackboard and holding forth quite independently.
- was constantly interrupted by Lefschetz in strong disagreement: the situation developed with Segre at the blackboard, firmly explaining what he thought was the resolution of the difference, while Severi and Lefschetz continued to shout each other down in French.
- In 1973 Segre reached the age of 70 and retired from his university chair.
- Segre continued to keep up the high work rate which had marked his whole career, but his wife's death was a blow from which he never recovered.
Born 16 February 1903, Turin, Italy. Died 22 October 1977, Frascati, 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