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Mathematical Treasure: Farkas Bolyai on Pure Mathematics

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Farkas Bolyai (1775-1856) is best known as the father of János Bolyai (1802-1860), one of the founders of non-Euclidean geometry. But Farkas was also a Hungarian mathematician of recognized distinction. His major work was Tentamen juventutem studiosam in elementa matheseos purae, elementaris ac sublimioris, methodo intuitiva, evidentiaque huic propria... (1832) in which he attempted to establish rigorous foundations for arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and analysis. János contributed an Appendix to the work on the existence of non-Euclidean geometry. His father convinced him to develop it further and publish it as a separate work, which he did.

Title page of first volume of Tentamen juventutem studiosam in elementa matheseos purae by Farkas Bolyai, 1832

The full work can be viewed courtesy of the University of Bordeaux, Library of Science and Technology, through BabordNum.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Farkas Bolyai on Pure Mathematics," Convergence (January 2020)

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