Friday, June 11, 2010

Nicolai Vasilievich Bugaev (1837-1903)

Nicolai Vasilievich Bugaev (14 Sept 1837 - 11 June 1903) was one of the founders and leading members of the Moscow Mathematical Society (vice president from 1886,  president from 1891). He earned his doctoral degree in 1866 under Weierstrass and Kummer (see Bugaev's MGP entry). Dmitri Egorov earned his doctoral degree under Bugaev, in 1901. Pavel Florenskii studied mathematics with Bugaev at Moscow University (he entered the university in 1899). Bugaev played a central role in the creation and development of the Moscow school of functions of a real variable [1]. He considered mathematics to be grounded in the theory of functions, built a theory of discontinuous functions ("arithmology") and developed a system of analogies between functions appearing in elementary number theory and functions appearing in analysis.On a philosophical level, notable is Bugaev's move from  positivism to a personalistic metaphysics [2].

[1] Demidov, S. - N. V. Bougaiev et la création de l'école de Moscou de la théorie des fonctions d'une variable réelle, Boethius Texte Abh. Gesch. Exakt. Wissensch., XII, Steiner, Wiesbaden, 1985.
[2] Shaposhnikov, V. A. - The philosophical views of N. V. Bugaev and Russian culture from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century, Istor.-Mat. Issled. (2) No. 7(42) (2002), 62-91, 366-367.
[3] Wikipedia entries for Nikolai Bugaev - in Russian and in English.