Stefan Mazurkiewicz

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Stefan Mazurkiewicz (September 25, 1888 in Warsaw, then Russian Empire – June 19, 1945, Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland) was a Polish mathematician who worked in mathematical analysis, topology, and probability. He was a student of Wacław Sierpiński and a member of the Polish Academy of Learning (PAU). His students included Karol Borsuk, Bronisław Knaster, Kazimierz Kuratowski, Stanisław Saks, and Antoni Zygmund. For a time Mazurkiewicz was a professor at the University of Paris; however, he spent most of his career as a professor at the University of Warsaw.

The Hahn–Mazurkiewicz theorem, a basic result on curves prompted by the phenomenon of space-filling curves, is named for Mazurkiewicz and Hans Hahn. His 1935 paper Sur l'existence des continus indécomposables is generally considered the most elegant piece of work in point-set topology.

During the Polish-Soviet War (1919-1921), Mazurkiewicz as early as 1919 broke the most common Russian cipher for the Polish General Staff's cryptological agency. Thanks to this, orders issued by Soviet commander Mikhail Tukhachevsky's staff were known to Polish Army leaders. This contributed substantially, perhaps decisively, to Polish victory at the critical Battle of Warsaw and possibly to Poland's survival as an independent country.

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