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Viktoras Birziska (Viktoras Biržiška)



Viktoras BIRŽIŠKA (1886-1964), industrial engineer and mathematician, son of Antanas and Elzbieta Biržiška, born in Viekšniai on Feb. 26, 1886. He graduated from the High School at Šiauliai in 1904 with a gold medal. He continued his studies at the St. Petersburg Technological Institute white at the same time auditing classes at the St. Petersburg University, where he had been admitted to the mathematics department through competitive entrance examinations. He graduated with a degree in industrial engineering in 1914. While still a student, he worked in the A. Baranovski Steel Tube factory and was its director from 1917-18. Upon his return to Lithuania in 1920, he settled in Vilnius where he taught in the Lithuanian High School, worked with the Lithuanian Committee and edited Lithuanian newspapers in both Polish and Russian. For these activities he was arrested by the Poles on Feb. 5, 1922 and exiled to Lithuania together with his brother Mykolas and 31 other Lithuanians and Belorussians. His activities of the years1920-22 in Vilnius and his struggle with the Polish occupation authorities are recorded in his book, Neužgijusios Žaizdos (Open Wounds), 1936, 2nd ed. 1967. Settling in Kaunas, from 1922-24 he taught high school; from 1922-26 he worked at the Ministry of Defense as head of the ordnance departments and was professor at the University of Kaunas, where he taught various branches oi mathematics. His major scholarly publications include: Įvadas analizėn(Introduction to Analysis), 1928; Integralinis skaičiavimas ir apibrėžtinių integralų teorija (Integral Calculus and Finite Integral Theory), 1930; Tikimybių teorijos pagrindai (Foundations of the Theory of Probability), 1936; Matematinė funkcija (Mathematical Function), 1938. He edited the mathematics section of the Lithuanian Encyclopedia from 1932-44 in Kaunas. He was professor of mathematics at the University of Vilnius from 1940-44 and at the Baltic University in Hamburg -Pinneberg, West Germany, from 1946-49. He came to the United States in 1950 and settled in Chicago, where he died on Jan. 27,1964.

Text from the ENCYCLOPEDIA LITUANICA I-VI.  Boston, 1970-1978