Oto Petzval


  • 6.1.1809, Spišská Belá
    † 28.8.1883, Budapešť (Hungary)



He was born on 6th of January 1809, in Spišská Belá. He was the younger brother of J. M. Petzval. He studied in Kežmarok and at the grammar school in Levoča. He also studied philosophy at the King’s Academy in Košice. Finally after the year 1828 he attended the Institutum geometricum in Pest, Hungary, where he received a title in engineering, became a répétiteur and then a substitute professor in the practical geometry department in 1833. In 1839 he received a doctorate at the university in Pest and at the same time became full professor of higher mathematics. But he also lectured for students of the university at the Institutum geometricum. During the revolutionary years, from 1848-1849, and the following period, absolutism influenced life at the university and the engineering institute in the form of personal and organizational changes. However, he had stayed to lecture until he left for retirement in 1883, (since 1857 only at faculty of philosophy). Sporadically he lectured also mechanics and subjects of technical intent, for some time even astronomy. In years 1843-1846 and 1860-1863 he also worked as a dekan at faculty of philosophy. In 1858 he was nominated as a member of the Ugrian University.

He didn’t have any individual results but he wrote some valuable secondary and university school-books of mathematics which shown higher expectations of up-coming revolution in Ugria. In his school-book for higher secondary schools (1856), which was given a price od academy, he attended also an idea of function and probability as well. His school-book about higher mathematics (1867-1868) belonged to first books about differencial and integral counting written in Hungarian. He was author of a school-book of astronomy and told by academy he wrote also double-beam handbook about technical mechanics. He was interested in teaching, educating many generations of high-school teachers and also engineers- technicians.

He died on 28th of August in Budapest.


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