This is a different kind of metanode. I'm not going to have a lot of information about each mathematician, so it would be wasteful to have this in separate writeups. So instead I'm going to put all of the information here, at least until the writeup becomes too long. I do encourage people to do longer writeups at the proper nodes, so that this can function as the other kind of metanode.
There have been a number of famous mathematicians, especially in the 19.
and especially 20. centuries, from Poland or of Polish descent. Here are a few, with some information; I will fill in more information as I get time. If you have any additions to the list, please /msg me.
- Stefan Banach.
- Kazimierz Kuratowski. 1896--1980. Studied engineering at the University of Glasgow until the end of World War I; then mathematics at the University of Warsaw, under Janiszewski and Mazukiewicz. Professor at the Technical University of Lvov, then the Univerisity of Warsaw. During World War II, when Polish mathematicians were forced underground by the Nazis, he taught at the Underground University of Warsaw. After the war, he was a leader of the reconstruction of Polish academics, and became professor again at the University of Warsaw. Worked on set theory and topology; also known for his theorem on the form of planar graphs.
- Andrzej Mostowski. 1913--1975. Studied under Tarski and Kuratowski. Taught at the Underground Warsaw University and lost some of his research escaping the Nazis. Professor at Warsaw University. Wrote on recursion theory, undecidability, logic, and model theory.
- Wacław Sierpinski
- Alfred Tarski. 1902--1983. Studied under Lesniewski. Tarski was a Polish Jew (born Alfred Teitelbaum), and emigrated to the U.S. in 1939 for obvious reasons. Professor at a number of universities, primarily University of California at Berkeley. Known for the Tarski-Banach paradox, etc.
- Stanslaw Ułam. 1909--1984. Emigrated to the U.S. in 1935. Studied under Banach. Professor at University of Wisconsin, ]University of Southern California], and University of California. Also worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he invented the Monte Carlo method of statistical simulation.
- Josef Maria Hoëné-Wronski (emigrated to France in 1800).
- Marian Rejewski
- Stanslaw Jaśkowski
- Stefan Mazurkiewicz
- Benoit Mandelbrot (emigrated to France in 1936, at age 12)
- Emil Post (emigrated to the U.S. in 1904, at age 7)
- Jan Łukasiewicz (emigrated to Belgium in 1944)
- Edward Marczewski
- Bronisław Knaster
The Warszawa and Lwów (now Lvov in the Ukraine) schools of mathematics were very active in the first half of the 20th century. Warsaw focused primarily on set theory, topology, and mathematical logic; Lwów focused on topology and functional analysis. Unfortunately, first the Nazis, then to a lesser extent Stalin, saw fit to heavily oppress academics in Poland. As a result, many mathematicians were forced underground; others fled to the U.S. and elsewhere (perhaps most famously Alfred Tarski, who went on to teach at Stanford). The mathematical community in Poland never fully recovered.
The computer science program of my alma mater, University of Kentucky, has a number of Polish mathematicians and computer science. My databases instructor (also my undergraduate advisor) studied under Mostowski. In addition, the department chair, my compilers professor, my logic and theory of CS professor, and my numerical methods professor were all from Poland---all this in a faculty of fewer than thirty now, and fewer than twenty when I began as a student in 1997. This, along with the composition of the list above, lead me to believe that Poland has not received the reputation it deserves as an intellectual center. This node is an attempt to do my part in correcting this oversight.
1 Most of the information in this writeup comes from http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/ , a site containing, among other things, many biographies of mathematicians.