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Salvatore Pincherle

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11 March 1853

Trieste, Austria (now Italy)

10 July 1936

Bologna, Italy

Salvatore Pincherle was born in Trieste (part of Austria at the time) into a Jewish family. His father was a business man and, after Pincherle had undertaken part of his education in Trieste, he moved to Marseilles taking his family with him. So Pincherle completed his school education in Marseilles. When he was at school in Trieste, Pincherle's interests were in the humanities, but the school in Marseilles specialised in science teaching and Pincherle soon became fascinated with mathematics through excellent teaching there.

Leaving Marseilles when his schooling was complete, Pincherle entered the University of Pisa in 1869 to study mathematics. A student of Betti and taught by Dini , Pincherle was strongly influenced by both men. Graduating in 1874 he taught in a school in Pavia but won a scholarship to enable him to study abroad for a year. Pincherle spent his year abroad in Germany, studying at the University of Berlin. There he was strongly influenced by Weierstrass during 1877-78 and all his mathematical work from this time on shows the influence of the great mathematician.

In 1880 Pincherle was appointed to the chair of infinitesimal calculus at the University of Palermo. It was a post he only held for a few months for he was offered the chair of mathematics at Bologna and accepted the post which he continued to hold until he retired in 1928.

Pincherle worked on functional equations and functional analysis . Together with Volterra , he can claim to be one of the founders of functional analysis. Tricomi writes in :

Remaining faithful to the ideas of Weierstrass , he did not take the topological approach that later proved to be most successful, but tried to start from a series of powers of the D derivation symbol. Although his efforts did not prove very fruitful, he was able to study in depth the Laplace transform , iteration problems, and series of generalised factors.

Pincherle contributed to the development and dissemination of Weierstrass 's development of a theory of analytic functions. He wrote an expository paper in 1880 which was published in the Giornale di Matematiche which was inspired by the lectures of Weierstrass . This work is important both in the development of analysis and in particular the progress of mathematics in Italy.

The Italian Mathematical Union was established in Bologna by Pincherle in 1922. He became its first President. He was also President of the Third International Congress of Mathematicians which was held in Bologna in 1928. It was through his efforts that German mathematicians were allowed to attend the Congress; they had been banned previously due to World War I.

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