Deceased Academicians

Stanisław Łojasiewicz


Stanisław Łojasiewicz

Date of birth 09 October 1926

Place Warsaw, Poland (Europe)

Nomination 27 January 1983

Field Mathematics

Title Professor of Mathematics, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland

Place and date of death Warsaw, Poland † 13 November 2002

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Commemoration

Most important awards, prizes and academies
Polish Academy of Sciences; Pontifical Academy of Sciences; the ‘Merentibus’ Medal of the Jagiellonian University.

Summary of scientific research
Etude de la coïncidence asymptotique de Wazewski au point singulier d’un système dynamique. Un phénomène asymptotique généralisant celui de la pendule de Kapica. Existence et approximation des solutions du problème de Cauchy pour des systèmes hyperboliques aux dérivés partielles. Etude de l’opération de la fixation des variables dans les distributions de Schwartz. Solution du problème de la division des distributions par des fonctions analytiques. Application des champs de Whitney dans le théorème de préparation de Malgrange-Weierstrass. Fondements de la géométrie semi-analytique. Construction d’une triangulation des familles d’ensembles semi-analytiques. Une approche directe à la géométrie sous-analytique.

Main publications
Łojasiewicz S., Sur l’allure asymptotique des intégrales au voisinage d’un point singulier; Łojasiewicz S., Sur un effet asymptotique dans les équations différentielles; Łojasiewicz S., Sur le problème de Cauchy pour un système d’équations aux dérivés partielles du type hyperbolique; Łojasiewicz S., Sur la fixation des variables dans une distribution; Łojasiewicz S., Sur le problème de la division, ‘Studia Math.’ 18 (1959), pp. 87-136; Łojasiewicz S., Triangulation of semi-analytic sets. ‘Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore de Pisa, Annali Scienze, Fisiche i Mathimatische Serie III’, 18:449-474, 1964; Łojasiewicz S., Ensemble semi-analytique, Mimeographié, Institute des Hautes Études Scientifique (Bures-sur-Yvette, France, 1965); Łojasiewicz S., Whitney fields and Malgrange-Mather preparation theorem; Łojasiewicz S., Sur l’adhérence d’un ensemble partiellement semi-algébrique, ‘Publications Mathématiques de l’Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques’ 68 (Bures-sur-Yvette, France, 1988) pp. 205-10; Łojasiewicz S., Sur la géométrie semi- et sous-analytique, ‘Annales de l’Institut Fourier’, Tome 43 fasc. 5 (Grenoble 1993) pp. 1575-95.

Professor Stanisław Łojasiewicz was born on October 9, 1926 in Warsaw. He completed his mathematical studies in 1945-47 at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. He was a student of Professor Tadeusz Wasewski and dealt at that time with differential equations, mainly ordinary, studying in particular asymptotic effects. He defended his PhD thesis in 1950. He then turned his interests towards distribution theory, the systematic description of which had just been created by Laurent Schwartz. During a stay in Paris in 1957, he achieved great success solving the problem of division of distributions by analytic functions, a problem posed by Schwartz, and he published the result in a note of Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Sciences in 1958. Such a result finds many applications in the theory of partial differential equations and analytic geometry. The analysis of the method led Stanisław Łojasiewicz to create a new geometry, i.e. semianalytic geometry and also to initiate a generalization now called subanalytic geometry. These two new geometries became a useful new tool in many branches of analysis and control theory. In 1956-60, Stanisław Łojasiewicz visited many universities, in Kingston, in Chicago, in Berkeley and also in Princeton at the Institute of Advanced Studies. In 1962, he obtained a professorship at the Jagiellonian University. He spent the year 1964-65 in Paris. In 1967-68, during his stay at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, he obtained a beautiful proof of the Malgrange-Mather Preparation Theorem. In 1970, he was invited to deliver a plenary lecture about semianalytic geometry at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Nice. The intense scientific and didactic activity of Professor Łojasiewicz attracted many students and gave rise to a mathematical school, representatives of which are not only in Cracow, but also in many places in Poland and many centres abroad in France, Italy, Spain, Germany. He was elected full member of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1980 and to our ‘Pontificia Academia Scientiarvm’ in 1983. He was a member of our Council from 1989 to 1992. He died on November 14, 2002 from a heart attack during his trip home to Cracow after attending our Plenary Session.

Paul Germain