Beniamino Segre

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Not to be confused with Corrado Segre.
Beniamino Segre
Beniamino Segre.jpg
Born (1903-02-16)16 February 1903
Turin, Italy
Died 2 October 1977(1977-10-02) (aged 74)
Frascati, Italy
Nationality Italian
Fields Algebraic geometry
Finite geometry
Theory of differential forms
Several complex variables
Doctoral advisor Corrado Segre
Notable students Claudio Pedrini, Giuseppe Tallini

Beniamino Segre (16 February 1903 – 2 October 1977) was an Italian mathematician who is remembered today as a major contributor to algebraic geometry and one of the founders of finite geometry.

Life and career[edit]

He was born and studied in Turin. Among his main contributions to algebraic geometry are studies of birational invariants of algebraic varieties, singularities and algebraic surfaces. His work was in the style of the old Italian School, although he also appreciated the greater rigour of modern algebraic geometry. Another contribution of his was the introduction of finite and non-continuous structures into geometry. In his best known paper (Segre 1955) he proved the following theorem: In a Desarguesian plane of odd order, the ovals are exactly the irreducible conics. Some critics felt that his work was no longer geometry, but today it is recognized as a separate sub-discipline: finite or combinatorial geometry.

In 1938 he lost his professorship as a result of the anti-Jewish laws enacted under Benito Mussolini's government; he spent the next 8 years in Great Britain (mostly at the University of Manchester[1]), then returned to Italy to resume his academic career.[2]


  • The non-singular cubic surfaces. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1942.[3]
  • Segre, Beniamino (1945). "Arithmetic upon an algebraic surface". Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 51 (2): 152–161. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1945-08300-1. MR 0011565. 
  • Lezioni di geometria moderna. 1948,[4] expanded English edition: Lectures on modern geometry. Rome 1961.[5]
  • Arithmetical Questions on Algebraic Varieties. 1951.[6]
  • Segre, Beniamino (1955). "Ovals in a finite projective plane". Canadian Journal of Mathematics. Journal Canadien de Mathématiques 7: 414–416. doi:10.4153/CJM-1955-045-x. ISSN 0008-414X. MR 0071034. 
  • Opere Scelte. (Selected Works), 3 vols, Roma, Edizioni Cremonese, 1987, 2000.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beniamino Segre.
  2. ^ Vesentini (op. cit.) the eight years, from 1938 to 1946, he spent in England, after having been expelled from his chair in the University of Bologna by the racial laws enacted by the fascist regime.
  3. ^ Snyder, Virgil (1943). "Review: The non-singular cubic surfaces, by B. Segre". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 45 (5): 350–352. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1943-07900-1. 
  4. ^ Blumenthal, Leonard M. (1948). "Review: Lezioni di geometria moderna, by B. Segre". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 57 (3): 192–194. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1951-09488-4. 
  5. ^ Freudenthal, Hans (1961). "Review: Lectures on modern geometry, by B. Segre". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 67 (5): 442–443. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1961-10620-4. 
  6. ^ Du Val, Patrick (1952). "Review: Arithmetical questions on algebraic varieties, by B. Segre". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 58 (5): 575–576. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1952-09625-7. 


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