Person: Sikorski, Roman
Roman Sikorski was a Polish mathematician whose research interests included Boolean algebras, mathematical logic, functional analysis, the theory of distributions, measure theory, general topology and descriptive set theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- After elementary schooling in Mszczonów, Roman attended the Adam Skwarczynski Gymnasium in the nearby town of Zyrardów.
- Sikorski began his university studies in 1937 and, of course, his physics course involved taking various mathematics options.
- With the university closed, Sikorski left Warsaw and returned to his home in Mszczonów.
- However staff and students who had survived the war began returning to the university and Sikorski was among them.
- Sikorski at this stage was both a student but also an assistant, helping to teach other students.
- In 1946 Sikorski obtained the only scholarship available in Poland to fund study abroad, and he went to Zürich where he spent eight months.
- Sikorski was awarded his Master's degree in 1947 and, advised by Mostowski, he undertook research for his doctorate.
- From 1947 Sikorski began publishing papers in English and French.
- In 1949 Sikorski became a research worker in the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Warsaw, which was the first part of the Polish Academy of Sciences to be established.
- The Institute of Mathematical Sciences began operating in November 1948 so was a very new institution when Sikorski began working there.
- In 1962 Sikorski was elected to the Polish Academy of Sciences as a corresponding member and then in 1969 as a full member.
- In addition to his impressive research record, Sikorski played an extremely important role in Polish mathematics through his tremendous support for the Polish Mathematical Society.
- Sikorski was an active member in the second half of the 1940s and became Secretary of the Society in 1951.
- At the Ninth Congress of Polish Mathematicians held in Kraków in 1969, Sikorski gave the Address presented September 3, 1969 at the inauguration of the Jubilee of the Polish Mathematical Society (Polish) which was published in 1971.
- The Polish Mathematical Society was only one of several different ways that Sikorski made a major contribution to the development of mathematics in Poland.
- There are many mathematical concepts which are named for Sikorski.
- Let us mention a few: Sikorski spaces, the Rasiowa-Sikorski lemma (Helena Rasiowa worked with Sikorski and this lemma is contained in their joint work as are the other concepts named for these two mathematicians), Hopf-Sikorski algebras, the Loomis-Sikorski theorem (the theorem was discovered by both the American mathematician Lynn Harold Loomis (1915-1994) and Sikorski at the same time but independently), the Loomis-Sikorski representation, Sikorski CW-complexes, the Rasiowa-Sikorski deduction system, Sikorski differential spaces, and Sikorski's trace formula.
- There are (as of November 2016) 519 papers in MathSciNet with "Sikorski" in the review text.
- A number of books by Sikorski have made important contributions to the teaching of mathematics in Poland and others have been research monographs which have been translated into several languages (including English) and have played an important role.
- Among Sikorski's other books we mention Real functions (2 volumes) (Polish) (1958, 1959); Differential and integral calculus: Functions of several variables (Polish) (1967) which was translated in English as Advanced Calculus.
- There is one other book which Sikorski wrote jointly with Helena Rasiowa which deserves a special mention.
- Sikorski made many trips to give lectures abroad.
- On the first of these trips to the USA, Sikorski was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from September 1958 to December 1958.
- Sikorski received many awards for his outstanding contributions.
- After an extremely active life, Sikorski had several years of suffering before his death in September 1983.
Born 11 July 1920, Mszczonów, Poland. Died 12 September 1983, Warsaw, Poland.
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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