Person: Schlömilch, Oscar
Oscar Schlömilch was a German mathematician who worked in mathematical analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- By 1851 Schlömilch was the Professor of Higher Mathematics and Analytic Mechanics at Dresden where he continued to teach until 1874.
- In 1874 Schlömilch was appointed to the Dresden Ministry of Culture as minister responsible for education in schools in Saxony.
- There are several important aspects of Schlömilch's contributions which we shall examine.
- It was around 1853 that Schlömilch began to correspond with the published B G Teubner.
- It was through the collaboration with Schlömilch that Teubner went on to become one of the leading publishers of mathematics books and well as Schlömilch's journal Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik.
- Earlier Schlömilch had given much support to Johann August Grunert and his journal Archiv der Mathematik und Physik.
- One of the few contributors of the journal who has remained well known today, was Oscar Xaver Schlömilch.
- At this time there must have been a good personal relationship between Grunert and Schlömilch.
- For example, Grunert arranged for the printing of Schlömilch's book, 'Handbuch der Differential- und Integralrechnung' (1846-48), at C A Koch in Greifswald.
- Then an unpleasant dispute between Schlömilch and F W Barfuss, the director of an insurance company in Weimar, arose, which ran through several volumes of the Archiv.
- In a militant manner, Barfuss defended an obsolete point of view on the question of symbolic calculation with divergent series against Schlömilch.
- Possibly Schlömilch became vexed because Grunert repeatedly gave Barfuss the opportunity of printing nonsensical answers in the Archiv.
- Possibly Schlömilch changed his opinion about Grunert's (sometimes old-fashioned) style of mathematics and indeed about his scientific ability.
- In all events, in 1856 Schlömilch founded his own journal, the Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik, which was very similar to Grunert's Archiv with regard to readership and contents.
- In general, thereafter, the better known and more gifted authors preferred to publish in Schlömilch's journal.
- Schlömilch wrote to Teubner in 1854 explaining why a new journal was necessary.
- Sometimes in its early years the Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik was called 'Schlömilch's Zeitschrift'.
- In 1857, in the second volume of his journal, Schlömilch published a harsh, damaging review of Grunert's Analytische Geometrie der Ebene und der Raumes für polare Koordinaten Ⓣ(Analytical geometry of the plane and the space for polar coordinates).
- In it Schlömilch was highly critical of Grunert's old-fashioned style and his criticisms have a personal rather cruel tone.
- From 1856 to 1859, Schlömilch was assisted in editing his journal by Benjamin Witzschel, then in 1859 Moritz Cantor replaced Witzschel as an editor.
- In the following year E Kahl joined the team and, until Schlömilch retired as an editor in 1896, these three jointly edited the journal.
- Schlömilch's first highly successful publication with B G Teubner was a joint work Lehrbuch der analytischen Geometrie Ⓣ(Textbook of analytical geometry) written with O Fort and published in 1855.
- After Schlömilch left his professorship at the Technical University of Dresden in 1874 to take up an appointment as minister responsible for education in schools in Saxony, he continued to hold his position as an editor of Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik.
Born 13 April 1823, Weimar, Germany. Died 7 February 1901, Dresden, Germany.
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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