CRM: Centro De Giorgi
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Mathematics, Mathematicians and World War I

22 May 2015 - 23 May 2015


Mathematics has been linked to the military disciplines least since the time of Archimedes. The 'new science' Tartaglia, the parabolic trajectory of projectiles in the absence of gravity, as a result of the law of falling bodies of Galileo, the shape of the solid of least resistance for Newton, the Treaty of artillery of Euler, to provide some examples. The Great War, for its exceptional size and duration, saw participation of some of the major figures of twentieth century mathematics as Vito Volterra, Emile Borel, Emil Artin, Richard Courant, Eugenio Elia Levi. In particular, in relation to military matters, ballistics and fluid dynamics have made great progress. Among the consequences of the war, there was also the birth of the Slavic states, particularly Poland, creating the conditions for the development of a great school of mathematics. On the other hand, the scientific production in the field of mathematics has fallen sharply during the years of conflict and the death of many promising scientists has weakened the mathematical community, particularly in Italy and France. Several volumes are now dedicated to mathematics and the Great War, but the attention was directed mainly to the western front (France, Germany, England). The aim of the conference is to explore, particularly, the participation of mathematicians, the premises and the consequences of it, on the eastern front so: Austria, Hungary, the Balkans, Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Russia, the Ottoman Empire. The languages of the conference are Italian, English, French.