Person: Słupecki, Jerzy
Jerzy Słupecki was a Chinese-born Polish mathematician who made important contributions to logic.
Jerzy Słupecki was a Polish mathematician who applied number theory and polynomial algorithms to solve differential equations & contributed to various fields such as theory of linear integral equations, signal analysis, and Słupecki Covering.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Stanisław Słupecki was actually born in Podolia and studied engineering in St Petersburg.
- By the time Jerzy was born, the railway linked the Trans-Siberian Railway from Lake Baikal in Siberia through Harbin in Manchuria to the Russian port of Vladivostok in Siberia on the Sea of Japan.
- Harbin was the Russian military base in Manchuria during this war, which was taking place at the time Jerzy was born.
- This, however, proved not to be easy and only Stanisław Słupecki managed to return at this time and he joined the Polish army in December 1918.
- Słupecki graduated from this High School in 1926 and, later in the same year, entered the Warsaw Technical University where he studied his favourite subject, namely architecture.
- Mathematics had always been a second favourite for Słupecki but, later in life when he was enjoying a highly successful career, he still regretted having to give up studying architecture.
- Once again Słupecki encountered unfortunate difficulties with his studies at Warsaw University.
- Adolf Lindenbaum was only two months older than Słupecki but had been awarded a doctorate in 1928, the difference being simply a consequence of the problems which had hindered Słupecki's education.
- Also Tarski, who was only two years older than Słupecki, had been teaching at Warsaw university since 1925.
- As well as the important influence of these lecturers, an equally important influence on Słupecki from this time on was Andrzej Mostowski.
- Mostowski was nine years younger than Słupecki but had begun his studies at Warsaw University in 1931.
- Słupecki and Mostowski met regularly in Lourse's Café in Krakówskie Przedmieście, one of the most prestigious streets in Warsaw.
- Słupecki graduated with a Master's degree from the University of Warsaw in 1935 having written a thesis advised by Jan Łukasiewicz.
- Słupecki's thesis was outstanding and it received the Department Council's award.
- Although he would have wished to remain at the University of Warsaw and study there for his doctorate, this was not possible in a situation where, despite having a school of extraordinary talents, it was not possible to employ someone as gifted as Słupecki.
- With Łukasiewicz as his research advisor, Słupecki worked on his doctoral thesis while being a full-time secondary school teacher.
- In the following year he submitted his thesis A proof of the axiomatizability of full systems of many-valued propositional calculus (Polish) and was awarded a Ph.D. Wacław Sierpiński was an examiner of Słupecki's thesis.
- In particular Helena Rzeszotarska (1879-1976) ran an underground Gymnasium to teach young people and Słupecki taught in this school.
- Słupecki taught in this underground university along with several of his friends and teachers such as Łukasiewicz and Mostowski.
- In addition to these highly dangerous teaching duties, Słupecki also took part in the Konrad Żegota Committee, part of the Polish Resistance.
- Many Poles were forced to undertake work for the Germans and, in mid-August 1944, Słupecki was sent to Germany as a labourer.
- Słupecki volunteered to teach at the School of Telecommunications in the Praga district of Warsaw and he also taught at the Curie-Skłodowska State Gymnasium, back in the position he had held before the German invasion.
- Later in 1945 Słupecki was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the University of Lublin.
- the creative work of Jerzy Słupecki comprised five areas: (1) many-valued sentential calculi, (2) theory of deductive systems including metalogic of classical and non-classical logic and the consequence operation of rejection, (3) history of logic (i.e. modern investigations onto the syllogistic of Aristotle), (4) Leśniewski's systems, and (5) didactics of logic and mathematics.
- Słupecki was conscious of the aim of his logical investigations as consisting in continuation, ramification and popularization of the logical investigations of his masters from the Warsaw school.
- Słupecki was also the author of a number of books co-authored with colleagues and students.
- At Wrocław University, Słupecki was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in 1953-55.
- However, from 1950 this was only one of Słupecki's two positions and perhaps the one that interested him the least.
- Słupecki certainly considered his work in Opole to be his most important contribution and in this, despite making many other significant contributions, he was probably correct.
- Jerzy Słupecki was the author of many articles in an encyclopaedia and was a great populariser of mathematical logic.
- Słupecki was the last Warsaw logician alive who began his scientific career in the golden twenty years of Polish logic (1919-1939).
Born 29 August 1904, Harbin, Manchuria, (now China). Died 15 January 1987, Wrocław, Poland.
View full biography at [MacTutor](https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Slupecki/
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive