Mathematician:Mathematicians/Sorted By Nation/Poland

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For more comprehensive information on the lives and works of mathematicians through the ages, see the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, created by John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson.

The army of those who have made at least one definite contribution to mathematics as we know it soon becomes a mob as we look back over history; 6,000 or 8,000 names press forward for some word from us to preserve them from oblivion, and once the bolder leaders have been recognised it becomes largely a matter of arbitrary, illogical legislation to judge who of the clamouring multitude shall be permitted to survive and who be condemned to be forgotten.[1]


Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543)

Polish mathematician and astronomer who modelled the universe with the Sun at the center, not the Earth.

His book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) sparked a revolution in scientific thought.
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Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686 – 1736)

Dutch-German-Polish physicist, engineer, and glass blower.

Best known for inventing the mercury-in-glass thermometer.

Developed the Fahrenheit temperature scale.
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Józef Maria Hoene-Wroński (1776 – 1853)

Polish Messianist philosopher, mathematician, physicist, inventor, lawyer, and economist.

Best known for his definition of the Wronskian.
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Jan Łukasiewicz (1878 – 1956)

Polish philosopher who contributed significantly to logic.

Most famous for his innovation Polish notation, a technique which allows one to write expressions without the need for parentheses.
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Wacław Franciszek Sierpiński (1882 – 1969)

Polish mathematician who made considerable contributions to the fields of set theory, number theory and topology, among others.

Most famous for the Sierpiński triangle.
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Władysław Hugo Dionizy Steinhaus (1887 – 1972)

Hugo Steinhaus was a Polish mathematician and educator who gave a notable contribution to functional analysis through the Banach-Steinhaus Theorem.
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Zygmunt Janiszewski (1888 – 1920)

Polish mathematician whose work was mainly in topology.

Co-founded the journal Fundamenta Mathematicae but died of influenza before its first issue.
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Stefan Mazurkiewicz (1888 – 1945)

Polish mathematician who worked in mathematical analysis, topology, and probability.
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Stefan Banach (1892 – 1945)

Polish mathematician who founded the modern field of functional analysis.

Most famous for his collaborative paper with Alfred Tarski in 1924, in which the Banach-Tarski Paradox was raised. This demonstrated that a contra-intuitive truth could be deduced from the ZFC axioms of set theory, specifically, by assuming the truth of the Axiom of Choice. Impassioned controversy rages to this day.
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Arnold Walfisz (1892 – 1962)

Polish mathematician who worked in analytic number theory.

Founded the mathematical journal Acta Arithmetica with Salomon Lubelski.
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Bronisław Knaster (1893 – 1980)

Polish mathematician best known for his discovery, in 1922, of the so-called hereditarily indecomposable continuum, otherwise known as the pseudo-arc, and the Knaster continuum, otherwise known as the buckethandle continuum.
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Kazimierz Kuratowski (1896 – 1980)

Polish mathematician whose work was mainly in topology and metric spaces.

Pioneered, with Alfred Tarski and Wacław Franciszek Sierpiński, the theory of Polish spaces.
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Stanisław Saks (1897 – 1942)

Polish mathematician and university tutor, known primarily for an extensive monograph on the theory of integrals and his works on measure theory.
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Antoni Szczepan Zygmund (1900 – 1992)

Polish-born American mathematician famous for his work on trigonometrical series.
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Salomon Lubelski (1902 – c. 1941)

Polish mathematician who mainly workked in number theory.

Best known for being the founder of Acta Arithmetica with Arnold Walfisz.
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Alfred Tarski (1902 – 1983)

Polish mathematician who worked in several fields of mathematics, in particular logic.

Most famous for the Banach-Tarski Paradox (with Stefan Banach) in 1924.
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Edward Marczewski (1907 – 1976)

Polish mathematician who worked in mainly in the fields of measure theory, descriptive set theory, general topology, probability theory and universal algebra.
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Stanisław Marcin Ulam (1909 – 1984)

Polish-American mathematician who participated in America's Manhattan Project.

Originated the Teller-Ulam design of thermonuclear weapons.

Invented the Monte Carlo method of computation.

Suggested the concept of nuclear pulse propulsion.

Also worked in the fields of both pure and applied mathematics.
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Samuel Eilenberg (1913 – 1998)

Polish-born American mathematician whose main field of activity were homology theory and category theory.
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Andrzej Mostowski (1913 – 1975)

Polish mathematician, best known for the Mostowski Collapse Lemma.
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Jerzy Maria Michał Łoś (1920 – 1998)

Polish mathematician, best known for his work on ultraproducts, in particular for Łoś's Theorem.
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Israel Nathan Herstein (1923 – 1988)

Polish-born mathematician who worked on a variety of areas of algebra, including ring theory.
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Ryszard Engelking (b. 1935 )

Polish mathematician, working mainly on general topology and dimension theory.
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Władysław Narkiewicz (b.1936 )

Polish mathematician known for his work in algebraic number theory, algebra and mathematical history.
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Andrew Michael Odlyzko (b. 1949 )

Polish-American mathematician who has published extensively on analytic number theory, computational number theory, cryptography, algorithms and computational complexity, combinatorics, probability, and error-correcting codes..

Disproved the Mertens Conjecture, with Hermanus Johannes Joseph te Riele.
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  1. Eric Temple Bell: Men of Mathematics, 1937, Victor Gollancz, London.