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Institute of Mathematics


Obituary to Giovanni Prodi

Our visiting position sponsored by DAAD is dedicated to the memory of Giovanni Prodi, who died on January 29th 2010 in Pisa.

Giovanni Prodi was born in Pisa in 1925 and was the first of 9 brothers (among them the famous former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi). He began to study Mathematics at the University of Parma in 1943, during  the war. He obtained his diploma ("laurea") in 1948 on a topic of Stability of Differential Equations. This was followed by a PhD ("dottorato") in Milan and Naples, where he was mentored by Ricci and Caccioppoli.

In 1956 he received an appointment to the Department of Analysis at the University of Trieste. At that time this was the only chair in pure mathematics of the Institute! He worked in Trieste until 1963, then he moved to Pisa, where he stayed until the end of his life.

Giovanni Prodi can be considered as the Nestor of Nonlinear Analysis in Italy. He also contributed to some of the most widespread results about the Navier-Stokes theory on a bidimensional  spatial domain. These results were achieved independently of and simultaneously with Jacques-Louis Lions. In addition, he was interested for all his life in questions concerning the didactics of Mathematics, an interest that was reflected by his several books.

On the Italian Wikipedia page one can find the following sentence:

Onore di Giovanni Prodi [.....] è stata istituita una cattedra presso l'Università di Würzburg, la "Giovanni Prodi Chair in Nonlinear Analysis".