A ceremony for Banach and Nikodym in Krakow

By on 17/10/2016
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Recently Krakow, an old city in the south of Poland, celebrated an event that happened hundred years ago. It was in the summer of 1916 when Hugo Steinhaus, already at that time a famous mathematician, walked in a park close to the university. By chance he witnessed the talk of two students sitting on a bench and discussing mathematics. They spoke about the Lebesgue integral that was in these days known only to a few specialists.

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Steinhaus had an interesting conversation with the two students, an intensive cooperation followed. This talk is considered as the starting point of the careers of the famous Polish mathematicians Stefan Banach and Otto Nikodym whose results play an important role in many fields, e.g., in functional analysis and measure theory.

Some years ago the idea came up to create a sculpture to memorize this meeting in the park. Due to the efforts of some Polish mathematicians (in particular K. Ciesielski from Krakow) it was possible to convince a sponsor and an artist that this project could be realized.

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On October 14, 2016, was the official presentation of the sculptures of Banach and Nikodym to the public. The Krakow mathematical community and the local media were present at this ceremony. The background information can be found on a plaque that one finds on the ground.

(Those readers who are able to understand Polish should contact the web site
http://www.matinf.uj.edu.pl/wydzial/aktualnosci/-/journal_content/56_INSTANC )

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Mathematicians who come to Krakow are invited to visit this bench. It is located in the south west part of the park that surrounds the old city.

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About Ehrhard Behrends

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