VOLTERRA

 
 



Who was Volterra?
 

Born: 3 May 1860 in Ancona, Papal states (now Italy)
Died: 11 October 1940 in Rome, Italy
    Vito Volterra's interest in mathematics started at the age of 11. His family was extremely poor (his father had died when he was two-year old) but after attending lectures at Florence, he was able to proceed to Pisa in 1878. He graduated Doctor of Physics in 1882. His thesis on hydrodynamics included some results of Stokes, discovered later but independently by volterra.
    He became Professor of Mechanics at Pisa in 1883 and then occupied the Chair of Mathematical Physics. After being appointed to the Chair of Mechanics at Turin, he was appointed to the Chair of Mathematical Physics at Rome.
    He published papers on partial differential equations, particularly the equation of cylindrical waves, but his most famous work was done on integral equations. He began this study in 1884 and in 1896, he published papers on what is now called "an integral equation of Volterra type". He continued to study functional analysis applications to integral equations producing a large number of papers on composition and permutable functions.
    During the First World War, Volterra joined the Air Force. He made many journeys to France and Angland to promote scientific collaboration. after the War, he returned to the University of Rome and his interest moved to mathematical biology. He studied the Verhulst equation and the logistic curve. He also wrote on predator-prey equations.
    In 1922, Volterra started to fight against Facism in Italian Parlement. In 1931, he was forved by the Facist Governement to leave the University of Rome. From the following years, he lived mostly abroad, mainly in Paris but also in Spain and other countries.


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