Bernard Bolzano

Bernhard Bolzano

1781 (Prague) – 1848 (Prague)

Bolzano’s pioneering ideas in mathematical logic were only properly appreciated after his death. He did mathematical research under Gerstner, but Austrian state censorship (Bolzano was banished from Prague and from academia for two decades) helped deprive him of contact with his intellectual peers; Abel, Lobachevsky and Gauss all knew of him, without having any direct contact. He was keen to meet Cauchy (their independently-conceived work had much in common), and seemingly did so, when Cauchy arrived for an unrewarding post in Prague. Dobrovský, a key player in Czech national culture, was a keen supporter.

Bernard Bolzano knew…