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Mark Kac’s First Publication: A Translation of "O nowym sposobie rozwiązywania równań stopnia trzeciego"

Author(s): 
David Derbes (University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, retired)

The great Polish-American mathematician Mark Kac’s first publication, written in 1931 when he was a senior in high school, gave a new derivation of Cardano’s formula for the roots of a cubic equation of the form \(x^3 + px + q = 0\). Kac’s article appeared in a short-lived (and difficult to obtain) student journal. This article is presented here in English, together with a transcription of the original Polish version. Its historical context is provided, with an afterword describing some further development. Finally, some suggestions for high school teachers and students motivated by the article and its history are given.

David Derbes (University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, retired), "Mark Kac’s First Publication: A Translation of "O nowym sposobie rozwiązywania równań stopnia trzeciego"," Convergence (April 2021)