Great interesting post on Wronskian, which is widely used in the study of differential equations. Wronski is an eccentric genius, who was once forced to leave his post at the Marseille Observatory after his theories were dismissed as “grandiose rubbish”, according to Wikipedia.

Today’s is another topic suggested by Mr Wu, author of the Singapore Maths Tuition blog. The Wronskian is named for Jzef Maria Hone-Wroński, a Polish mathematician, born in 1778. He served in General Tadeusz Kosciuszko’s army in the 1794 Kosciuszko Uprising. After being captured and forced to serve in the Russian army, he moved to France. He kicked around Western Europe and its mathematical and scientific circles. I’d like to say this was all creative and insightful, but, well. Wikipedia describes him trying to build a perpetual motion machine. Trying to square the circle (also impossible). Building a machine to predict the future. The St Andrews mathematical biography notes his writing a summary of “the general solution of the fifth degree [polynomial] equation”. This doesn’t exist.

Both sources, though, admit that for all that he got wrong, there were flashes of insight and brilliance in his work. The St Andrews…

View original post 1,534 more words