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Prominent Poles

Tadeusz Banachiewicz astronomer and mathematician

Polish stamp with Tadeusz Banachiewicz, astronomer

Born:  1882, Warsaw, Russian partition of Poland (presently Poland)

Died:  1954

Early days. His parents Artur Banachiewicz and mother Zofia Rzeszotarska owned an estate Cychry near Warsaw.
Higher education. He published his first article in the “Astronomische Nachrichten” already in 1903 as a student of Warsaw University. In 1905, after the closure of the University by the Russians he moved to Goettingen (Germany). In 1906 he moved to Pulkowa Observatory. In 1910 after passing the habilitation exam he obtained work in Kazan (Russia) conducting heliometrical studies of the moon.
Professorship. In 1915 he moved to Dorpat, Russia (presently Tartu, Estonia) where he became a professor of astronomy. In 1919, after Poland regained her independence, he moved to Cracow (Poland) becoming a professor at the Jagiellonian University and the director of Cracow Observatory.
Achievements. He authored about 180 research papers. He modified the method of determining the parabolic orbits. He 1925 he invented a theory of “cracovians” (a special king of matrix algebra) which brought him a world fame. This theory permits solving of several astronomical, geodesical, mechanical and mathematical problems.
Honors, awards. In 1922 he became a member of PAU (Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci). From 1932 to 1938 he was the vice-president of the International Astronomical Union.. He was also the first President of Polish Astronomical Society, the vice-president of the Geodesical Committee of The Baltic States, and from 1952 to his death a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He was also the founder of the journal Acta Astronomica. He was the recipients of three “Doctor Honoris Causa” titles: from the University of Warsaw, the University of Poznan , and the University of Sofia (Bulgaria). He invented a chronocinematograph. One of the lunar craters is named after him.
Marriage.Banachiewicz was married to Laura Solohub, a Ukrainian poet.

WIEM (in Polish)
University of Lueneburg, Germany
Forum Akademickie (in Polish)

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Prominent Poles