This book examines the life and work of mathematician Giovanni Battista Guccia, founder of the Circolo Matematico di Palermo and its renowned journal, the Rendiconti del Circolo matematico di Palermo.
The authors describe how Guccia, an Italian geometer, was able to establish a mathematical society in Sicily in the late nineteenth century, which by 1914 would grow to become the largest and most international in the world, with one of the most influential journals of the time. The book highlights the challenges faced by Guccia in creating an international society in isolated Palermo, and places Guccia's activities in the wider European context through comparisons with the formation of the London Mathematical Society and the creation of Mittag-Leffler's Acta Mathematica in Stockholm.
Based on extensive searches in European archives, this scholarly work follows both historical and scientific treads, and will appeal to those interested in the history of mathematics and science in general.
Benedetto Bongiorno was Full Professor of Mathematical Analysis at the University of Palermo from 1976 to 2012. From 1995 to 1997 he was dean of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Palermo. Bongiorno has been Associate Editor of the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Application since 2000. He was member of the scientific committee of the Unione Matematica Italiana from 1994 to 1997. From 1983 to 1997 he acted as Vice President of the Circolo Matematico di Palermo. He has been a member of the Accademia di Scienze Lettere e Arti di Palermo since 1980.
Guillermo P. Curbera is Professor of Mathematical Analysis at the University of Sevilla. His research focuses on functional and complex analysis. He was the Editor General of the Royal Spanish Mathematical Society form 2006 to 2009 and has been Curator of the Archives of the International Mathematical Union (located in Berlin) since 2007. He has authored the book Mathematicians of the World: Unite! The International Congress of Mathematicians, A Human Endeavour (2009).
1 Background.- 2 The Formative Years.- 3 The Scientific Context.- 4 The Projects of Guccia: First Stage.- 5 The Projects of Guccia: Second Stage.- 6 Maximum Splendor.- 7 Epilogue.- 8 Appendices.- Bibliography.- References.
"It is a rich book that goes beyond a mere biography of a central actor of modern Italian mathematics. ... Particularly remarkable is the use of various European archives, which had never been available to the public before. Readers can thus dive into the rich historical material, as the book offers a number of good quality reproductions of the archival material." (Emmylou Haffner, Mathematical Reviews, August, 2019)
"The writing is engaging, touching on many facets of the international mathematics community, especially in Italy. The book is not math-intensive so is accessible to any reader, and will particularly reward students of 1800s Italy. This book will be of interest to professional mathematicians as well as those interested in the history of international cooperation in the mathematical sciences." (Alice Petillo, MAA Reviews, May 19, 2019)
"This book provides a fascinating, informative look into the life and work of Giovanni Battista Guccia. ... A curated bibliography points toward opportunities for further study, and a wealth of archival sources, including key documents from the society and journal and selections from Guccia's own writings, are included in an appendix. A worthwhile resource for anyone interested in the history of mathematics." (J. A. Bakal, Choice, Vol. 56 (7), March, 2019)
"The book is highly recommended for historians of mathematics and historians of science at any stage of their career. The style also makes this book easy to read and the richness of the collected archival materials offers with extreme clarity an overview of the historical and cultural life of Sicily at the beginning of the 20th century." (Silvia De Bianchi, zbMATH, 2019, 1400.01001)