Stefan Banach

1892 - 1945
Stefan Banach

He did not finish his studies, received his Ph.D. by accident, but became a professor. We would probably never have heard about him if it had not been for an accident in the Planty park in Krakow. His whole life seems to be a tangle of amazing coincidences. Today streets, squares, and university halls bear his name. He is called the father of the Polish school of mathematics.

Stefan Banach had a tough start. He was born in Krakow on March 30, 1892, and raised in a foster family. He only met his father. Life was certainly not easy for him, but he showed exceptional mathematical and linguistic abilities at school. Even before passing his matriculation exam, he was giving private lessons. After passing the exam, he worked in a bookshop, but he devoted every free moment to mathematics. He also started to study at the Lwow Polytechnic, at the Faculty of Civil Engineering. He continued his education there for two years only.


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