Wed, 13 Jun 2018
16:00 - 17:00
Jan Kotůlek
Technical University of Ostrava

The Czech lands were the most industrial part of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, broken up at the end of the WW1. As such, Czechoslovakia inherited developed industry supported by developed system of tertiary education, and Czech and German universities and technical universities, where the first chairs for applied mathematics were set up. The close cooperation with the Skoda company led to the establishment of joint research institutes in applied mathematics and spectroscopy in 1929 (1934 resp.).

The development of industry was followed by a gradual introduction of social insurance, which should have helped to settle social contracts, fight with pauperism and prevent strikes. Social insurance institutions set up mathematical departments responsible for mathematical and statistical modelling of the financial system in order to ensure its sustainability. During the 1920s and 1930s Czechoslovakia brought its system of social insurance up to date. This is connected with Emil Schoenbaum, internationally renowned expert on insurance (actuarial) mathematics, Professor of the Charles University and one of the directors of the General Institute of Pensions in Prague.

After the Nazi occupation in 1939, Czech industry was transformed to serve armament of the Wehrmacht and the social system helped the Nazis to introduce the carrot and stick policy to keep weapons production running up to early 1945. There was also strong personal discontinuity, as the Jews and political opponents either fled to exile or were brutally persecuted.

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