Person: Bottema, Oene
Oene Bottema was a Dutch mathematician who studied geometry and mechanics, specifically kinematics .
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Rinze Bottema had a position with the railways and was subsequently station manager at a few village stations in the north of the country.
- After attending elementary school, Bottema entered the Rijks Hogere Burgerschool in Groningen.
- Bottema was one of the first to benefit from this change, and in 1918 he entered the Department of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Groningen.
- One of Bottema's professors at Groningen was Julius Wolff (1882-1945) who, after studying for a doctorate advised by Diederik Korteweg, had spent ten years as a school teacher, then was appointed professor of differential calculus, theory of functions and higher algebra at Groningen in 1917.
- Bottema was also taught by Johan Antony Barrau (1873-1953) who had also been advised by Korteweg for his doctorate.
- Another of Bottema's teachers, who only arrived in Groningen in 1923, was the number theorist Johannes Gaultherus van der Corput (1890-1975).
- Bottema was taught theoretical physics by Frits Zernike (1888-1966), an outstanding scientist who was awarded a Nobel Prize for physics in 1953.
- Bottema graduated from the University of Groningen in 1924 and began a career as a secondary school mathematics teacher.
- After the award of his degree in mathematics, Bottema was appointed as a teacher at the Hogere Burgerschool in Hengelo.
- During his teaching at Hengelo, Bottema came into contact with Willem Van der Woude (1876-1974) from Leiden, who acted as a commissioner at his school.
- Bottema had published a paper while still an undergraduate, namely Opmerking aangaande het artikel van N.
- Bottema was keen to work towards his doctorate and, advised by Van der Woude, he undertook research while continuing to work full time as a mathematics teacher.
- In 1927 Bottema was awarded a doctorate for his thesis De figuur van vier kruisende rechte lijnen Ⓣ(The figure consisting of four mutually skew lines).
- In the thesis Bottema studies such Voss-quadruples and other special quadruples of skew lines.
- In his thesis Bottema's elegant style in mathematics is already present.
- The award of a doctorate did not mean that Bottema gave up being a school teacher.
- Although Bottema taught in schools from 1924 to 1941, he also taught some university courses as a docent.
- Femmina, known as Femmy, was more than one year younger than Oene Bottema.
- In 1938 Bottema published his first book, De elementaire meetkunde van het platte vlak Ⓣ(The elementary geometry of the plane).
- In 1941 Bottema left his position as director of the Rijks Hogere Burgerschool in Deventer when he was appointed as professor at the Technical University in Delft.
- To avoid any bad feeling that might arise, the university decided to appoint Bottema to the chair which W A Versluys had held until 1935 but which had never been filled.
- Bottema published around 200 papers during his career, but he also made contributions to high school mathematics.
- In this way, Bottema, while still a teacher, came into contact with Van der Woude.
- It is the latter in which Bottema was involved, possibly since the 1940s.
- Bottema was perfect for this work and thus certainly exerted his influence on secondary education.
- H D Kloosterman was chair of this committee with Haantjes as its secretary and Bottema as one of the three other members.
- Bottema retired in 1971 at the age of 70.
- She became totally dependent on Bottema who took care of her in the most loving way.
- After retiring, Bottema continued to produce research papers, the last appearing in 2001 nearly 10 years after his death.
- Bottema received many honours for his contributions.
- Bottema admired Wordsworth, who in Book V of 'The Prelude' uses the stone and the shell to represent respectively geometrical truth and poetry.
- For Bottema the unshakable argument of geometry and the inspiration of poetry were the two indispensable guides in life.
- As a mathematician, an administrator and a human being, Bottema always attempted to create a good balance between content and form.
- Bottema had learned his lesson too well and in addition to the question he gave the answer (that de Bruijn had written for the sake of completeness).
Born 25 December 1901, Groningen, Netherlands. Died 30 November 1992, Delft, Netherlands.
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