Person: Fehr, Henri
Henri Fehr was a Swiss mathematician and educationalist who founded two Swiss journals and worked for the improvement of mathematical education.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Fehr attended secondary school in Geneva.
- From 1895 to 1900, Fehr taught at the École Professionnelle and at the College of Geneva and, at the same time, he gave a course at the University as a docent.
- The presentation of the elements of differential geometry given by M Fehr is hardly to be excelled.
- In addition to his thesis, Fehr published a further three articles in 1899, namely: Sur l'enseignement des éléments de trigonométrie Ⓣ(On teaching the elements of trigonometry); La préparation mathématique de l'actuaire Ⓣ(The mathematical preparation of the actuary); and Sur la courbure moyenne quadratique Ⓣ(On quadratic mean curvature).
- The first volume of the journal appeared in 1899 with Fehr as editor and, remarkably, he continued to edit the journal for over 50 years until his death in 1954.
- A list of the members of the first Committee for the journal shows that support it received from leading mathematicians worldwide: Paul Emile Appell, Nicolai Vasilievich Bugaev, Moritz Benedikt Cantor, Luigi Cremona, Emanuel Czuber, Zoel García de Galdeano y Yanguas, Alfred George Greenhill, Felix Klein, Valerian Nikolaevich Ligin, Paul Mansion, Gösta Magnus Mittag-Leffler, Gabriel Oltramare, Julius Peter Christian Petersen, Émile Charles Picard, Henri Jules Poincaré, Pieter Hendrik Schoute, Kyparissos Stephanos, Francisco Gomes Teixeira, Alexandr Vasil'evich Vasil'ev, Alexander Ziwet.
- Fehr was appointed as an ordinary professor of Algebra and Higher Geometry at the University of Geneva on 24 July 1900, a position he held until 1945.
- We note that Oltramare was one of the organisers of the first International Congress of Mathematicians held in Zurich in 1897 which Fehr also attended.
- Fehr had the remarkable record of attending every International Congress of Mathematicians from this first in 1897 until the 1950 Congress.
- Fehr presented the printed report on the work of the International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics to the 1912 Congress held in Cambridge, England, as well as presenting the reports of Denmark, Greece, Russia, Finland and Switzerland.
- As well as editing L'Enseignement mathématique Fehr contributed many articles to it.
- Heinrich Behnke spoke about Fehr's contributions to the teaching of mathematics at the symposium dedicated to the memory of Henri Fehr which was held on 1-2 July 1955 in Geneva.
- Georges Tiercy spoke at the same symposium about Fehr's approach to teaching.
- The project was prepared by H Fehr together with some former presidents of the Society.
- We followed Fehr's career as far as his appointment as ordinary professor of Algebra and Higher Geometry at the University of Geneva in 1900.
- For this work Fehr was made Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur and awarded the French Médaillé de la Reconnaissance in recognition for the services he rendered to internees.
- As one would expect, given Fehr's passion for teaching, he played a leading role in the Swiss Association of Mathematics Teachers, which he chaired from 1905 to 1909.
Born 2 February 1870, Zurich, Switzerland. Died 2 November 1954, Geneva, Switzerland.
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive