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Francesco Brioschi

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22 Dec 1824

Milan, Lombardo-Veneto (now Italy)

14 Dec 1897

Milan, Italy

Francesco Brioschi graduated from Pavia in 1845. From 1852 to 1861 Brioschi was professor of applied mathematics at the University of Pavia. There he taught mechanics, architecture and astronomy.

From 1861 to 1862 Brioschi was secretary of the Italian Ministry of Education and from 1870 to 1882 he was on the Executive Council of the Ministry of Education.

In 1863 Brioschi organised the Istituto Tecnico Superiore in Milan. He then became director and professor of mathematics and hydraulics there until his death.

Brioschi studied the theory and application of determinants and published a major work Teoria dei determinanti in 1854. He also obtained new results in the theory of transformation of elliptic and abelian functions .

One of his most important results was his application of elliptical modular functions to the solution of equations of the fifth degree. His method uses ideas due to Hermite and Betti who had both worked on the problem. This problem was also solved by Kronecker at almost exactly the same time. Brioschi however later went on to solve sixth degree equations using similar techniques.

Brioschi highly valued the significance of pure mathematics in applications and greatly influenced the direction of mathematics in Italy.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland