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Beniamino Segre and Italian geometry. (English) Zbl 1093.01009
The article is the published version of a talk given at a conference in honor of Beniamino Segre (1903–1977), apparently for his hundredth birthday in 2003. The author was a student of Segre in the early 1950s at the Istituto Nazionale di Alta Matematica in Rome. By then Segre had returned from his emigration to England (1938–1946) as an Italian Jew. The article describes the career of Segre in algebraic geometry, strongly influenced by Francesco Severi. Without going into the details the author mentions discussions concerning the lack of rigor in Italian algebraic geometry in the 1920s and 1930s in which among others F. Enriques, F. Severi, and O. Zariski were involved and which also affected the validity of Segre’s work. Vesentini shows that Segre later turned to combinatorial geometries and developed a successful scientific program, independent of the shadow of his teacher Severi.

MSC:
01A60Mathematics in the 20th century
01A70Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies
05-03Historical (combinatorics)
14-03Historical (algebraic geometry)