Hugo Steinhaus

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Władysław Hugo Dionizy Steinhaus (January 14, 1887 – February 25, 1972) was a Polish-Jewish mathematician and educator.



Steinhaus was born in Jasło, Austria-Hungary (now in Poland) to a Jewish family, and received his Ph.D. from Göttingen University. He was a professor at the Universities of Lwów (1920–41) and Wrocław (1945–61), the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA, 1961–62), and the University of Sussex (1966), and a corresponding member of PAU (the Polish Academy of Learning) from 1945 and PAN (the Polish Academy of Sciences) from 1952, and of many international scientific societies and science academies.

He co-founded the Lwów School of Mathematics and authored over 170 works in mathematical analysis, probability theory and statistics.

His doctoral thesis was completed under the supervision of David Hilbert.

He described mathematics as a "science of nonexistent things."

Chief works

  • Czym jest, a czym nie jest matematyka (What Mathematics Is, and What It Is Not, 1923).
  • Theorie der Orthogonalreihen (with Stefan Kaczmarz, 1935).
  • Kalejdoskop matematyczny (A Mathematical Kaleidoscope, 1938).
  • Mathematical Snapshots (1939).
  • Taksonomia wrocławska (A Wroclaw Taxonomy; with others, 1951).
  • Sur la liaison et la division des points d'un ensemble fini (with others, 1951).
  • Sto zadań (A Hundred Problems, 1958).
  • One Hundred Problems In Elementary Mathematics (1964).
  • Orzeł czy reszka (Heads or Tails, 1961).
  • Słownik racjonalny (A Rational Dictionary, 1980).

He founded Studia Mathematica with Stefan Banach (1929), and Zastosowania matematyki (Applications of Mathematics, 1953).

See also

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