Person: Herzog, Albin
Albin Herzog was a Swiss mathematician who was director of the ETH Zurich. His main interest was in mechanics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Albin first attended primary school in his native village, then secondary school in Steckborn, and then the Kantonsschule in Frauenfeld, Thurgau's capital.
- Herzog was a very good student and matriculated at the Polytechnic in Zürich in 1870.
- After his graduation Herzog received a prize for solving a problem posed at his department, and in 1875 he received a doctorate from the University of Zürich for his thesis Bestimmung einiger specieller Minimalflächen (Determining Some Special Minimal Surfaces).
- Herzog took on Kargl's lectures during the professor's illness and after his death.
- In 1877 Herzog was appointed to a full professorship in applied mechanics, which was quite unusual for the time given his young age.
- Herzog was head of the Mechanical-Technical Department for some years, but stepped down from this post when he succeeded his good friend Geiser as Director of the Polytechnic (1895-1899).
- Geiser acted as Herzog's deputy.
- Together they founded the Polytechnic's Civil Fund for Widows and Orphans, but Herzog seems to have been the driving force behind the project.
- Deeming the first as too analytical and missing rigour in the second, Herzog based his lectures on Jacob Bernoulli's work and a synthetic approach.
- When the young Einstein failed the Polytechnic's entry exam in 1895, Herzog recommended him to the Kantonsschule in Aarau, where Einstein indeed obtained the Matura.
- Having been a keen singer in his student years, Herzog supported the student choir throughout his life.
- Beside his teaching and administrative duties, Herzog still found time to do research.
- On the occasion of the Polytechnic's 50th anniversary in 1905, Herzog was one of its professors who were awarded honorary citizenship of the town Zürich.
- Herzog was a member of the Polytechnic's alumni association, the Gesellschaft Ehemaliger Polytechniker (GEP) and the Schweizerische Naturforschende Gesellschaft.
- The original committee invited Herzog to join the organising committee of the first International Congress of Mathematicians in his capacity as Director of the Polytechnic in November 1896.
- Herzog, Rudio and Hurwitz were the most active committee members with regards to organising the social side of the congress.
- Herzog's position and connections proved useful for securing the necessary subventions from the authorities.
Born 26 October 1852, Homburg, Thurgau canton, Switzerland. Died 13 June 1909, Mammern, Switzerland.
View full biography at MacTutor
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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