Stefan Banach: who was Polish mathematician in Google Doodle

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The date is significant, as it marks the day on which the autodidact officially became a professor

Today the icon GoogleDoodle recognizes Stefan Banach, a founding member of the Lwów School of Mathematics and the founder of modern functional analysis.

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Google decided to commemorate Banach today, July 22, because on that day in 1922 the polishing Mathematician officially became a professor.

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That’s all you need to know about Banach, widely regarded as one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century.

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Who was Stefan Banach?

Banach was born on March 30, 1892 in Kraków to father Stefan Greczek and mother Katarzyna Banach.

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His father was a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian Army and was unable to marry due to military regulations – as his mother was too poor to support the child herself, it was decided that Banach should be sent to the city to be raised by family and friends .

When Banach was 10 in 1902, he enrolled in the school, where he and his friend Witold Wiłkosz, also a future mathematician, spent their time working on mathematical problems.

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Stefan Banach will be remembered in 2022 with his own Google Doodle (Photo: Instytut De Republica)

Later in his life, Banach reportedly wrote Dr. Kamil Kraft, the math and physics teacher at the school, credits it with sparking his initial interest in math.

At 18 he moved to Lviv, now known as Lviv, to study engineering at Lwów Polytechnic. At some point he also attended Jagiellonian University.

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When World War I broke out, Banach was excused from military service as he was left-handed and had poor eyesight. During this time he taught at local schools instead.

When did he meet Hugo Steinhaus?

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Banach’s life changed fundamentally after he met Professor Hugo Steinhaus, a renowned mathematician of the time.

The two met in Kraków’s Planty Park in 1916, when Steinhaus heard Banach talk about Lebesgue integration, which was a fairly new idea in mathematics at the time.

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Steinhaus took an interest in Banach, who was a self-taught math student, and shortly thereafter invited him to work on some problems that had proved difficult. Banach resolved them within a week.

Stefan Banach’s life changed when he met Hugo Steinhaus (Photo: Instytut De Republica)

Steinhaus was quoted as saying that Banach was his “greatest scientific discovery”.

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Steinhaus introduced Banach to various academic circles and in 1918 he received an assistant position at the Lwów Polytechnic.

On April 2, 1919, Banach, Steinhaus and a number of other Kraków mathematicians founded a mathematical society that would later become the Polish Mathematical Society.

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With the help of Steinhaus, Banach also obtained his doctorate at the university, and in 1922 he published his doctoral thesis on the foundations of functional analysis, which would soon become a whole new branch of mathematics.

A statue of the memorial bench Otto Nikodym and Stefan Banach, both mathematicians, sculpted by Stefan Dousa in Kraków, Poland (Photo: Adobe Stock)

After the publication of his dissertation, Banach was hired as a professor at the Lwów Polytechnic. In the following years, Banach was accepted as a member of the Polish Academy of Learning and also headed the second chair of mathematics at the University of Lviv.

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Banach and his fellow mathematicians later founded the Lwów School of Mathematics, and in 1929 the group began publishing its own journal, Studia Mathematica, devoted primarily to Banach’s specialty of functional analysis.

What happened in World War II?

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When World War II broke out after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland, Lviv came under Soviet control for almost two years.

In 1941, after the takeover of Lwów by Germany, all universities were closed and Banach and his colleagues were employed as lice eaters at Professor Rudolf Weigl’s Typhoid Research Institute.

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The Weigl Institute provided employment for a number of university professors and staff during World War II and protected them from arbitrary arrest and from deportation to concentration camps.

What is he known for?

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Throughout his career, Banach had associated his name with a number of theorems and mathematical concepts, including:

  • Banach-Tarski paradox
  • Set of Banach Stone House
  • Banach-Alaoglu theorem
  • Banach Stone theorem
  • Theorem of Banach Shiver
  • Set of Banach Rooster
  • Banach Fixed Point Theorem
  • Banach spaces
  • Banach algebras
  • Banach Measures

When did he die?

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In January 1945, Banach was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died on August 31 later that year at the age of 53.

The mathematician died at the age of 53 (Photo: Instytut De Republica)

In 1992, the Polish Academy of Sciences donated the Stefan Banach Medal in honor of the mathematician. The medal is awarded by the Presidential Board of the Academy for outstanding achievements in the mathematical sciences.

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Was he married – did he have a son?

Banach married his wife Łucja Braus in September 1920, after they met when Braus was working as a secretary for a cousin of Steinhaus.

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They welcomed their son Stefan Jr. into the world in 1922. He then became a neurosurgeon and doctor of medicine.

in a (n interviewWhen asked if Banach tried to get his son interested in math, Stefan Jr. said of his father, “Yes, he tried, but I got more interested in humanities and science.

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“Definitely, the more I learned and understood math in high school, the more I realized that I could never reach my father’s level.

“So the desire to study medicine crystallized in me early on and my father didn’t try to stop me. He believed that everyone should make a living from their hobby.”

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Stefan Jr. added that despite being a busy man, his father “always had plenty of time” with his son.

He said: “Sunday is mine. Every other Sunday we attended football matches played by “Pogonia”, a team from Lviv.

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“Every Sunday when the team played away, we would go to the movies to see cowboy movies.”

Citing Stefan Banach

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Here are some of Banach’s best quotes to remember the mathematician:

“Mathematics is the most beautiful and powerful creation of the human mind. Mathematics is as old as mankind.”

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“A mathematician is a person who can find analogies between theorems; A better mathematician is one who can see analogies between proofs, and the best mathematician can see analogies between theories. One can imagine that the ultimate mathematician is one who can see analogies between analogies.”

“Mathematics is the most beautiful and powerful creation of the human mind.”

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