Talk:Nikolai Lobachevsky

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Plagiarism claims[edit]

I thinks these claims must be removed from the article or if these claims have slightest grounds they must be brought here. Any extremist, envier, freak or madman can accuse anybody of anything but does it mean that these claims must be mentioned in such a serious project as Wikipedia is? The dead deserve presumption of innocence not less than the alive and in a sense even more because they can not make a stand for themselves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Partly that stupid song by Lehrer is to blame - people ignorant of what Lobachevsky did may believe it. More seriously I have seen it said that Bartels transmitted ideas from Gauss to Lobachevsky. But so what? Lobachevsky went far ahead of Gauss.JFB80 (talk) 17:06, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

But surely even if the claims of plagiarism lack any basis in fact (and there is some suggestive, though admittedly circumstantial evidence upon which to base this, and so the idea should be discussed on the page), the mere fact that there is a public perception that there was a degree of plagiarism in Lobachevsky's work means that this needs to be acknowledged, and the evidence for both sides of the argument balanced, and hopefully a conclusion reached, just as any historian would do? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Any suggestions are worth mentioning on wiki pages if they are made by professional historians in a referenced edition based on well established facts . Otherwise anybody can "suppose" e.g. that Newton stole his ideas from Leibnitz (just because it was physically possible) or from a dying alien from a wrecked UFO (less likely but still physically possible) and "discuss" this idea in the Wiki article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:08, 12 July 2011 (UTC)


Is it -skii or -sky? It should be uniform throughout the article, but I don't want to step on feet by changing all of these. Dysprosia 04:22, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

bad source[edit]

Much of this article seems directly copied from [1]. I am not familiar with our policies on plagiarism, but this really ought to be checked out. - Crenner 00:11, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

  • Wikipedians have asked them for permissions to copy in past (for biographies of other mathematicians) and we got a clear "no". We will have to rewrite the article. Andris 17:05, May 9, 2004 (UTC)

-sky is more correct[edit]

--Untifler 11:17, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Possible vandalism[edit]

I removed the following unsourced claim:

  • Lobachevsky also was an extremist in the gay-rights activists. He was an extremely homosexual man. Even though he had a wife, he was caught multiple times having intercourse with other men and animals. Gene Ward Smith 23:46, 15 October 2006 (UTC)


I think it would make more sense to have this article be part of wikiproject mathematics than the Russian history wikiproject since Lobachevsky is important because of his mathematical ideas, research, and discoveries, not because of his role in Russian history. NikolaiLobachevsky 20:26:57 12/25/2006 (UTC) Does anyone have a response to the point that I just made and does anyone agree with me that the article should switched from wikiproject Russian history to wikiproject mathematics. NikolaiLobachevsky 20:45:40 12/25/2006 (UTC)

Patience, please; on articles which are not the most highly trafficked on Wikipedia, you'll have to wait more than twenty minutes for a response. Articles can be in the domain of more than on project; see Talk:Carl Friedrich Gauss for an extreme case. I've added this article to WikiProject Mathematics. grendel|khan 16:24, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

OK, fair enough, that makes sense and resolves this to have it in both the math and the Russian projects since he was both a mathematician and Russian. NikolaiLobachevsky 18:39:11 12/26/2006 (UTC)

Tom Lehrer[edit]

Does anyone think it's worth mentioning that Tom Lehrer wrote a song about this guy? Tom's wiki page links here, it might be good to link back there. Purplezart (talk) 02:12, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

It's in. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:35, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Project in College Algebra[edit]

                                    == PROJECT IN COLLEGE ALGEBRA==

NAME:MAVELYN F. ARENAS                               
YR/SEC:HRH 1                                           TEACHER:Mrs.OLIVEROS

Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky (Russian: Никола́й Ива́нович Лобаче́вский) (December 1, 1792–February 24, 1856 (N.S.); November 20, 1792–February 12, 1856 (O.S.)) was a Russian mathematician, often called the Copernicus of Geometry.[1][2]

    * 1 Biography
    * 2 Work
    * 3 In popular culture
    * 4 See also
    * 5 References
    * 6 External links

[edit] Biography

Lobachevsky was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. His parents were Ivan Maksimovich Lobachevsky, a clerk in a landsurveying office, and Praskovia Alexandrovna Lobachevskaya. In 1800, his father died, and his mother moved to Kazan. In Kazan, Lobachevsky attended Kazan Gymnasium, graduating in 1807 and then Kazan University, which was founded just three years earlier in 1804. At Kazan University, Lobachevsky was influenced by professor Johann Christian Martin Bartels (1769–1833), a former teacher and friend of German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. Lobachevsky received a Master's degree in physics and mathematics in 1811. In 1814, he became a lecturer at Kazan University, and, in 1822, he became a full professor, teaching mathematics, physics, and astronomy. He served in many administrative positions and became the rector of Kazan University in 1827. In 1832, he married Varvara Alexeivna Moisieva. They had a large number of children (the exact number appears to be unknown, though the number fifteen is most commonly quoted); however, only three of them survived into adulthood. He retired (or was dismissed) from the university in 1846, ostensibly due to his deteriorating health: by the early 1850s, he was nearly blind and unable to walk. He died in poverty in 1856.
[edit] Work

Lobachevsky's main achievement is the development (independently from János Bolyai) of a non-Euclidean geometry, also referred to as Lobachevskian geometry. Before him, mathematicians were trying to deduce Euclid's fifth postulate from other axioms. Euclid's fifth is a rule in Euclidean geometry which states (in John Playfair's reformulation) that for any given line and point not on the line, there is one parallel line through the point not intersecting the line. Lobachevsky would instead develop a geometry in which the fifth postulate was not true. This idea was first reported on February 23 (Feb. 11, O.S.), 1826 to the session of the department of physics and mathematics, and this research was printed in the UMA (Вестник Казанского университета) in 1829–1830. Lobachevsky wrote a paper about it called A concise outline of the foundations of geometry that was published by the Kazan Messenger but was rejected when the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences submitted it for publication.

The non-Euclidean geometry that Lobachevsky developed is referred to as hyperbolic geometry. Lobachevsky replaced Euclid's parallel postulate with the one stating that there is more than one line that can be extended through any given point parallel to another line of which that point is not part; a famous consequence is that the sum of angles in a triangle must be less than 180 degrees. Non-Euclidean geometry is now in common use in many areas of mathematics and physics, such as general relativity; and hyperbolic geometry is now often referred to as "Lobachevskian geometry" or "Bolyai-Lobachevskian geometry".
Monument of Nikolai Lobachevsky in Kazan

Some mathematicians and historians have wrongfully claimed that Lobachevsky stole his concept of non-Euclidean geometry from Gauss, which is untrue - Gauss himself appreciated Lobachevsky's published works very highly, but they never had personal correspondence between them prior to the publication. In fact out of the three people that can be credited with discovery of hyperbolic geometry - Gauss, Lobachevsky and Bolyai, Lobachevsky rightfully deserves having his name attached to it, since Gauss never published his ideas and out of the latter two Lobachevsky was the first who duly presented his views to the world mathematical community.[3]

Lobachevsky's magnum opus Geometriya was completed in 1823, but was not published in its exact original form until 1909, long after he had died. Lobachevsky was also the author of New Foundations of Geometry (1835-1838). He also wrote Geometrical Investigations on the Theory of Parallels (1840)[4] and Pangeometry (1855).[5]

Another of Lobachevsky's achievements was developing a method for the approximation of the roots of algebraic equations. This method is now known as the Dandelin–Gräffe method, named after two other mathematicians who discovered it independently. In Russia, it is called the Lobachevsky method. Lobachevsky gave the definition of a function as a correspondence between two sets of real numbers (Dirichlet gave the same definition independently soon after Lobachevsky).
This looks excellent. Why not use it?JFB80 (talk) 17:16, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Because it's unreferenced original research. Please see WP:original research, WP:verifiability and WP:reliable sources. The part I just removed (popcult & see also) is already in the article. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:34, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

New plagiarism claims[edit]

"Some mathematicians and historians have wrongfully hat Lobachevsky stole his concept of non-Euclidean geometry from Gauss,... " Which mathematicians and historians? Any reasons for such claims? Bring any links or remove. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:24, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Unsupported statement of plagiarism claims[edit]

The statement "Some mathematicians and historians have wrongfully claimed that Lobachevsky stole his concept of non-Euclidean geometry from Gauss" is not supported by any links. In fact no serious historian or mathematicians have. The link, contained in the corresponding paragraphs (3) leads to the source which only states that there were accusations of influence from Gauss (also wrong). So why does this statement remain in the article for so many years? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:47, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Please don't shout. Beyond My Ken (talk) 19:18, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Why? I don't. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Writing in all capital letters is generally considered to be the online equivalent of shouting. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:51, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
No, an exclamation mark is generally considered the equivalent of shouting in written speech. Capital letters (at least in titles) do not necessarily show any emotions or mode of voice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I CLEA...I cleaned it up. HalfShadow 23:50, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Lobachevsky's birthplace[edit]

An editor is replacing what is in the article currently:

birth_place = Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Empire
Nikolai Lobachevsky was born in Makariev near Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) in 1792...

with this:

birth_place = Makaryev, Nizhny Novgorod Governorate, Russian Empire (now Makaryevo, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia)
Nikolai Lobachevsky was born in Makaryev, Makaryevsky Uyezd, Nizhny Novgorod Governorate in 1792...

To me, the former (current) is understandable, while the latter (the editor's change) is completely indecipherable. It is a disservice to our readers to change an article in such a way that it may be technically more accurate, but which cannot be understood by someone who knows nothing about the subject. Also, replacing blue links with red links is not a good idea. I suggest that if the editor wishes more precise information to go into the article, that it be done in such a way that it is understandable to our readers. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:08, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

First, please note that your blind revert removed data about Lobachevsky's academic genealogy. Regarding his place of birth: Wikipedia is not about our personal convenience. Removing red links just because they are red links is not a good practice. Also note that the version you restored contains inaccurate information. Makariev is a nonstandard transliteration of his birth place (Макарьев); the standard transliteration is Makaryev (see also: Makaryevo). Also note that contrary to what the infobox says he was not born in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, but in the governorate of Nizhny Novgorod. Those are two completely different entities. I still contest the claim that detailed information is confusing. That kind of detailed information is helpful exactly because those details provide context; also those details are not covered by any relevant article at the moment. Note that I can provide references for all those data and I can suggest a different phrasing; plus, I do plan to create the missing articles soon. --Omnipaedista (talk) 08:26, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I said nothing about "my personal convenience." This is the second time you've failed to WP:AGF in respect to me and mistated my intentions; I would appreciate it if it was the last time. I have spoken only of the value to our readers, as everything we do must be measured by that yardstick. If you add information that -- in your estimation -- makes the article more accurate, but also makes it less understandable for the reader, than that is not an improvement. As I pointed out above if you want to improve the article, you must do so in a way that is understandable. I'm sure that you have the knowledge and ability to do this. As you say you have the sources to back up this information, I suggest you provide it as well, so that there will be no question about it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:57, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry if I mistated your intentions. I will edit the article to reflect the version I deem to be more clear and more accurate; I will also provide some sources. Then we could resume discussion. --Omnipaedista (talk) 09:19, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I have made the relevant changes. This time I did not keep the red links (except for one that needed disambiguation). I understand that they may be confusing but keeping them is in accordance with WP:RED ("create a red link to indicate that a page will be created soon or that an article should be created for the topic because the subject is notable and verifiable"). As a compromise, I suggest we keep the new blue links I provided until I create the missing articles. --Omnipaedista (talk) 04:19, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Can you confirm what the name of the city was in 1792, when NL was born? Beyond My Ken (talk) 09:57, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
See third citation: Polotovsky mentions that according to V.F. Kagan (N. Lobachevsky and His Contribution to Science) Lobachevsky was born in Макарьев. --Omnipaedista (talk) 02:59, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
You've stated that "Makariev" is a non-standard transliteration of that city's name - what is the standard transliteration, and why doesn't it appear in the article, only in the infobox. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:55, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

(outdent) Those questions are already covered by my edit summaries and the sources I have provided. Regarding transliteration, see WP:RUS. Regarding his place of birth: sources (Papadopoulos 2010, Polotovsky, the Lobachevsky Nizhny Novgorod State University Museum website) state explicitly that his place and date of birth have long been uncertain. According to sources his birthplace was either (i) Makaryev, Makaryevsky u(y)ezd, then located in the Nizhny Novgorod Governorate or (ii) the city of Nizhny Novgorod, then located in the Nizhny Novgorod Governorate. The simplest way to describe that in the body of the article is the following: "he was born either in or near the city of Nizhny Novgorod" ("near" is obviously a word of convenience; compare the location of the Makaryevsky uezd with the location of the city of Nizhny Novgorod). The details may be found in the infobox and the references. (Note: the succeeding entity of the Nizhny Novgorod Governorate is the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.) --Omnipaedista (talk) 11:44, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Polish origin?[edit]

His mother was evidently Russian. At least no Russian sources even doubt it. She had the Russian name and patronymic and no evidences exist she was Polish. Moreover there are strong evidences brought by some Russian historians that even his real father was Russian land-surveyor S.S. Shebarshin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 22 July 2013‎ (UTC)

We don't go by what is "evident" or "obvious". Any information which is removed from an article because it is unsourced cannot be returned to the article without a citation from a reliable source. This is basic Wikipedia policy. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:40, 22 July 2013 (UTC)