Bruno de Finetti is possibly the best known Italian applied mathematician of the 20th century, but was he really just a mathematician? Looking at his papers it is always possible to find original and pioneering contributions to the various fields he was interested in, where he always put his mathematical ‘
formamentis’ and skills at the service of the applications, often extending standard theories and models in order to achieve more general results. Many contributions are also devoted to educational issues, in mathematics in general and in probability and statistics in particular.
He really thought that mathematics and, in particular, those topics related to uncertainty, should enter in everyday life as a useful support to everyone's decision making. He always imagined and lived mathematics as a basic tool both for better understanding and describing complex phenomena and for helping decision makers in assuming coherent and feasible actions. His many important contributions to the theory of probability and to mathematical statistics are well known all over the world, thus, in the following, minor, but still pioneering, aspects of his work, related both to theory and to applications of mathematical tools, and to his work in the field of education and training of teachers, are presented. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.