Today, Stefan Banach is considered the founder of modern functional analysis. Exactly 200 years ago today, the influential mathematician was officially appointed associate professor at the University of Lviv.
Google therefore honors the main representative of the so-called “Lviv School of Mathematics” with its own Doodle.
Stefan Banach founded modern functional analysis as we know it today, establishing a completely new branch of mathematics.
A number of mathematical theorems, concepts and theorems are named after the influential scientist who was born in Kraków. For example, today there is the so-called Banach algebra, the Banach space and the Banach sphere, the Banach mapping theorem, the Banach mapping theorem and many other theorems.
His findings in the field of topological vector spaces, set and measure theory, and functional analysis are still relevant today.
Even when he was at school, Banach was considered highly gifted – especially in mathematics. However, the native of Kraków is said to have shown no interest in the humanistic subjects, so that he was only considered a moderately good student.
Despite his great interest in mathematical topics, Banach decided against studying mathematics after leaving school. According to a biography in the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, the later functional analyst apparently had the feeling that there was nothing new to discover in mathematics.
Instead, Stefan Banach first studied civil engineering and later completed his preliminary diploma in mechanics. In 1920, however, he ended up as an assistant at the chair for mathematics at the “National Polytechnic University of Lemberg” and his career as a mathematician took its course.
Although the great mathematician lived through both the First and Second World Wars, he did not fight in either war. Because of his short-sightedness, Banach was declared unfit for military service and retired accordingly. During the First World War he is said to have earned his living as a road supervisor.
When the Second World War broke out, Stefan Banach is said to have been traveling in Kyiv. After his return to Lviv, the analyst is said to have earned his money at times by regularly donating blood at the “Institute for Bacteriology” to ensure the feeding of laboratory lice.
The great analyst and self-confessed chain smoker Stefan Banach died of lung cancer in Lemberg on August 31, 1945 – just two days before the official end of the war on September 2, 1945.