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Wed, 20 Apr 2011 12:02:38 EDT by admin, 144201 views
History paper by Prékopa, András (all papers)
Commemorating János Bolyai, the World-Famous Hungarian Mathematician
János Bolyai (1802-1860) was the man who put Hungary on the map of international science. By the discovery of Non-Euclidean geometry he changed the course of mathematics, made possible the formulation of the modern physical theories of the 20th century, changed our way of thinking and had an impact on the universal human culture. He is also the greatest figure in Hungarian science. He first reported about the discovery in a letter written on November 3rd to his father, Farkas Bolyai: “Out of nothing I have created a new, different world”. Two years ago was the 150th anniversary of his death and we commemorated it by an international conference held in Budapest and Marosvásárhely between August 30-September 4. At the same time there was a pilgrimage to the grave of this great man, who, in his life, received no recognition at all, even though he was aware of the significance of his scientific discovery. The purpose of this lecture is to pay tribute to him abroad as well, and present to a wide audience, in an easily understandable way, a brief summary of his life and scientific achievements.
Brief Professional Bio:
András Prékopa graduated from the the University of Debrecen in mathematics, physics and received PhD from Eötvös University (1960). He was assistant and later associate professor at the Department of Probability Theory of the Eötvös University, until 1968. Between 1968-83 he was full professor of mathematics at the Technical University of Budapest. In 1983 he returned to the Eötvös Univesity, and became the founder, professor and first chairman of the Department of Operations Research (OR). Since 1985 he has been distinguished professor of OR, statistics and mathematics at Rutgers University. He published more than a dozen books about 350 papers and supervised 52 PhD students. He is full member of the HAS, member and honorary president of several academies and scientific societies. He is recipient of the Széchenyi Prize (1996), the Middle Cross of the Republic of Hungary (2005) and the Gold Medal of the European OR Societies, a major international distinction (2003).