Person: Bachiller, Tomás Rodríguez
Tomás Bachiller was a Chinese-born Spanish mathematician who worked in topology.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Ángel was born in Montemayor and Jesús was born in Puerto Rico, where Tomás Rodríguez was serving as consul at the time.
- At the age of fourteen Bachiller went to Central University of Madrid to attend mathematics lectures by José Echegaray.
- Following graduation, Bachiller enrolled as a student at the Central University of Madrid to study mathematics.
- Bachiller studied geometry with Cecilio Jiménez Rueda (1858-1950), Miguel Vegas (1856-1943), Faustino Archilla (1870-1939) and José G Álvarez Ude (1876-1958).
- Bachiller translated the lectures into Spanish and wrote them up for publication, but despite his efforts, the notes were never published.
- In 1921-22 Bachiller studied "Celestial Mechanics" given by José María Plans (1878-1934).
- On 7 March 1923 Einstein lectured to the Mathematical Society and, after a question by Bachiller, discussed the matter with him for half an hour.
- When Einstein gave a series of three public lectures on relativity on 5, 6 and 8 March, Bachiller was told to attend them, take notes and prepare summaries.
- When Bachiller's abstracts of the lectures were published, Bachiller provided copies to Einstein who told him that "in no other country in the world had they done so well".
- In May 1923 Bachiller applied to the Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios (now the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) for a one-year scholarship in order to study the theory of functions and differential equations in Germany and Switzerland.
- We learn from this application that at this stage Bachiller intended to write a doctoral thesis on the algebraic geometry of the style studied by Francesco Severi's school in Italy.
- This scholarship was not awarded but the Faculty of Sciences in Madrid awarded Bachiller a scholarship to enable him to spend the academic year 1923-24 studying in France.
- When Bachiller returned to Madrid in 1924 he delivered the first topology course ever given in Spain.
- Back at the Faculty of Sciences in Madrid, Bachiller was appointed as an assistant on 2 October 1925 to give practical classes on "Elements of Infinitesimal Calculus", and on 13 November of that year also on "Spherical Astronomy and Geodesy".
- There is a rather strange gap in Bachiller's activities between 1928 and 1933.
- Rey Pastor then observed that the first part coincides exactly with the one set out by him in 1919 in the public session held in honour of Jacques Hadamard, and as regards the modification introduced by Bachiller in the second part, it seems to him that it proves nothing, for it confuses the various concepts of curve of Jordan, Cantor and Menger.
- It was proposed to Rodríguez Bachiller that in the next session he present in writing the proof, corrected, so it can be examined again, and the author has promised to do this.
- However, Bachiller did not present a further version of his paper and neither he nor Rey Pastor were present at the following meetings of the Society.
- In the 1931 list of members of the Spanish Mathematical Society Bachiller's name does not appear.
- Of course, Bachiller had never submitted a thesis for a doctorate so he may well have decided that he needed to concentrate on his research rather than do work for the Spanish Mathematical Society.
- In October 1932 Bachiller's became an acting professor when the chair of differential equations became vacant.
- Two candidates applied, Bachiller and R San Juan, and a committee was set up to carry out the competition.
- The committee summoned the two candidates to appear before them on 15 June 1935 but only Bachiller was present.
- It was a very difficult time for everyone and Bachiller, who almost certainly sympathised with the Republicans, tried to stay out of the conflict.
- As a result of Bachiller's visit to Rome, Severi and Fantappié were invited to give lectures in Madrid and Barcelona in the year 1942.
- Bachiller had quite a wide range of different teaching duties in a number of different institutions.
- In April 1946, Bachiller delivered the inaugural lecture of the Mathematics Section of the Congress of the Spanish Association for the Advancement of Science held in San Sebastián.
- Bachiller won one of the scholarships for professors and on 4 February 1947 he arrived in the United States to begin a five month visit.
- During this time Bachiller continued his work as a translator, and made visits to Puerto Rico whenever he could.
- Bachiller spent so much time in Puerto Rico that he had to resign from many of his roles in Madrid.
Born 10 November 1899, Hong Kong (now China). Died 9 July 1980, Madrid, Spain.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin China, Topology
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive