The mathematical sciences have been included in the structure of the Romanian Academy from the very beginning (August 1867) as a part of the Section of Natural Sciences, which, in 1879, would become the Scientific Section.

The list of illustrious mathematicians of the Romanian Academy begins with Spiru Haret, who, through his French doctoral thesis, brought important contributions to the field of celestial mechanics. This thesis stirred much interest during that epoch, and was even included in the celebrated treatise of the great French mathematician Henri Poincaré. More recently the name of Spiru Haret was assigned to one aspect of the lunar topography on the dark side of the Moon. As Minister of Public Instruction, he reformed the Romanian education system at every level, having been inspired by the French system, thus permitting our country to step into the modern era. Also, he foresaw the application of mathematics to sociology, drawing up the theory of social mechanics.

The Club of the Academy Members

David Emmanuel also played a major role in the same generation of forerunners. He inaugurated the research of algebraic geometry in Romania and distinguished himself through courses on the theory of functions.

Romanian mathematical research in the first part of the 20th century was heavily influenced by Gheorghe Titeica, a highly reputed geometrician, by Traian Lalescu, who wrote the first monograph about integral equations which was published in Paris at the beginning of the century, and by Dimitrie Pompeiu, one of the greatest Romanian analysts, who introduced numerous new concepts and ideas still frequently used in the field of analytical mathematics, some of which bear his name (the Pompeiu-Hausdorff metric, for example). Simion Stoilow was the creator of the Romanian school of complex analysis and postulated certain profound ideas and effects which won him worldwide notoriety among scientists (the Kerekyarto-Stoilow barrier and the Iversen-Stoilow surface, for example). Victor Vâlcovici studied the problems of rational and analytical mechanics, establishing a functional basis for the variational principles of mechanics and introduced new methods in the theory of elasticity and the resistance of materials. Alexandru Ghika was a trailblazer in functional analysis and its applications in quantum mechanics. Octav Onicescu developed invariant mechanics and, together with Gheorghe Mihoc, created the Romanian school of the theory of probability.

The Iasi school of mathematics was represented by Alexandru Myller through his work in differential geometry, Octav Mayer with his studies on projective geometry, and Mendel Haimovici who contributed to the Finsler varieties of differential geometry.

Dan Barbilian, who made important contributions to the fields of geometry, algebra and number theory and succeeded in constructing an axiomatics of the geometry of projective rings was also, under the pseudonym Ion Barbu, a great Romanian poet of the interbellum era.

In the realm of astronomy, Gheorghe Demetrescu established a method for calculating solar eclipses, Calin Popovici developed methods for determining the motions of the Sun and Constantin Drâmba cleared up a series of questions relating to the Earth, Moon and Sun.

Gheorghe Vrânceanu brought important contributions to modern differential geometry. Tiberiu Popoviciu inaugurated the theory of higher order convex functions in mathematical literature and founded the Cluj school of the theory of approximation and numerical analysis. Grigore Moisil was the founder of the Romanian school of the algebra of logic and informatics. Caius Iacob applied the results he had obtained from mathematical analysis to fluid mechanics, distinguishing himself in the field of the aerodynamics of compressible fluids. Miron Nicolescu obtained important results in the theory of real functions and introduced the ideas of polyharmonic and polycaloric functions into the theory of partial differential equations. For several years the Director of the Institute of Mathematics in Bucharest, Miron Nicolescu was one of the founders of the Romanian school of mathematical analysis and the theory of operators, which put him in the front ranks of world mathematics. He was President of the Romanian Academy from 1966 to the end of his life. The crude abolition of the Institute of Mathematics of the Romanian Academy, an institution for which he had fought very hard, grieved him such that he died soon afterwards (in 1974). Gheorghe Marinescu made significant contributions to functional analysis and the theory of distributions.

The great contemporary mathematicians Jacques Hadamard, Elie Cartan, Paul Montel and Jean Leray count themselves among the Honorary Members of the Romanian Academy.

Six mathematical institutes exist within the Romanian Academy, to whit the Simion Stoilow Institute of Mathematics, the Gheorghe Mihoc Center for Statistical Mathematics, the Caius Iacob Institute of Applied Mathematics, the Tiberiu Popoviciu Institute of Calculus in Cluj-Napoca, the Octav Mayer Institute of Mathematics in Iasi, and the Institute of Astronomy. Evolved from the Astronomic Observatory established in Bucharest in 1908, it now has branch observatories in Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara, and coordinated the important international program ECLIPSA ‘99 on the occasion of the total solar eclipse in August 1999.

Mathematicians with international reputations in the scientific world have worked in these institutions, and many are currently professors in the great universities of the world. In Romania, world-renowned mathematical schools were created and are still active; some of their fields of study are the theory of operators, complex analysis, the theory of potential, the theory of manifolds, differential equations and the theory of the optimal central, fluid mechanics and the theory of elasticity, the theory of probabilities and mathematical statistics.

Among the periodicals published by the Romanian Academy in this domain, several enjoy an international reputation, such as Revue Roumaine de mathémathiques pures et appliquées, Mathematica, Revue d’analyse numérique et de théorie de l’approximation, Romanian Astronomical Journal etc.



copyright © Academia Română 2006

copyright © Academia Română 2006