mathematician who was a pioneer in symbolic logic. His concise logical definitions
of natural numbers were devised in order to derive a complete system of
notation for logic. He also discovered a curve that fills topological space.
Peano was born near Cuneo, Piedmont, and studied at Turin. On graduating, he joined the staff of the university and remained there for the rest of his life, first becoming a professor there in 1890. He was also professor at Turin Military Academy 1886-1901.
Peano's first work in logic, published in 1888, contained his rigorously axiomatically derived postulates for natural numbers. He acknowledged his debt for some of the work to German mathematician Richard Dedekind. Some of Peano's work was used by English philosopher Bertrand Russell.
Peano also applied the axiomatic method to other fields, such as geometry, first in 1889 and again in 1894. A treatise on this work contained the beginnings of geometrical calculus. Peano provided new definitions of the length of an arc of a curve and of the area of a surface.
Formulario mathematico 1895-1908, comprising his work and that of collaborators, contains 4,200 theorems.