Luigi Poletti (mathematician)

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Luigi Poletti (31 December 1864 – 10 March 1967) was an Italian mathematician and poet. He was born in Pontremoli, where he also died, age 103.

He attended the episcopal seminary in Potremoli, then the high school of Parma, graduated in Turin and started to study mathematics there. He did not finish and took a job in a bank. 1911 he accidentally found the book of prime number tables written by Lehmer, a mathematician from the United States in the house of professor Gino Loria, a friend of his family, when he visited Genua. Since then he spent many years to extend the first table in order to simplify "Erathostenes Crivello" (sieve of Erathosthenes), a method from ancient Greece to find prime numbers. He gave his method a new name: "Neocribrum" (Novum Erathosthenes Cribrum) and he got recognition from the scientific community. Apart from that, he was, together with Priré Gerardin, member of a study commission of the „Association Française pour l'avancement des sciences“ (1946). With the assistance of Wijnand Nicolaas George Henri Beeger he had the possibility to extend the table of Lehmer beyond the number 10 006 721. 1955 he was awarded a gold medal and the order of the republic Italy by Italian president John Gronkowski. In his long life (103 years) he was a member of the city council in the rank of Commissario Prefettizio. He was a poet in his native dialect Pontremolese (poems and texts for popular music). He wrote for example Al Campanon d‘ Pontrémal, La Zumniana (for which he also composed the music) or Al cant dal Cont Ugolìn. He translated XXXIII of "Dantes Inferno". As an amateur he wrote poems in Latin language. The product of the first four prime numbers, 2, 3, 5 and 7 = 210 has been given the name Poletti period to honour him.

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Article on "Lungiana Net":"Famous people from Pontremoli"