Person: Chela, Raimundo
Raimundo Chela, Venezuelan mathematician, made significant contributions to mathematics at all levels, including a novel approach to equation singularities, classification of rational equations, resolution of certain equations, perturbation problems and a new equation family.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Julián Chela is in fact the Spanish version of his Lebanese name Khalil Chahla, which he adopted in Venezuela.
- Raimundo, however, said his parents often told him about their days in Lebanon, speaking of the towns of Zagharta and Aioun, famed for its cedars and situated in a beautiful area.
- Raimundo studied at an elementary school in Carúpano, then went to Caracas where he attended Secondary School.
- Chela had great admiration for Duarte all his life and we quote later in this biography an extract from a speech he gave on the occasion of awarding Duarte and Honorary Doctorate on 28 May 1965.
- Chela graduated with the qualification Teacher of Mathematics in 1942.
- Chela also taught in two High Schools, the Liceo Aplicación and the Liceo Fermín Toro and at the National Pedagogical Institute where he had been trained.
- Chela was one of 33 teachers who founded the College of Teachers of Venezuela on 22 June 1943.
- In the midst of these events, Chela was elected as President of the College of Teachers of Venezuela and had to deal with the consequences of repression.
- With a scholarship from the Council for Scientific and Humanistic Development of the Central University of Venezuela, Chela went to England to undertake research at the University of London for a Ph.D. In London he studied at King's College where his thesis studies were supervised by Albrecht Fröhlich.
- Julián Chela-Flores was awarded a Ph.D. in quantum mechanics from the University of London in 1969.
- Godsuno Chela Flores was awarded a B.A. by the University of London in 1965, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Phonetics, also from London, in 1967.
- On the last days of 1961 Chela left England and returned to Venezuela.
- In April 1962 Chela was elected a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences of Venezuela.
- in the cafeteria of the Faculty of Humanities, behind Engineering, Raimundo Chela shared a table with several students from the School of Mathematics: José Masón, Federico Martin and myself.
- Chela recounted the emotion that the end of 'The Song of the Earth' produced in him, how the music slowly faded away and the mezzo-soprano sang softer and softer Ewig, Ewig, Ewig, ...
- Chela's mathematical culture was very extensive and he could talk about many topics not related to Algebra.
- Apart from two or three jokes, which were never lacking, Chela was a very serious, upright man, with strong convictions and not at all willing to negotiate, much less to betray his principles.
- Chela was elected to serve a second term as President of the College of Teachers of Venezuela in 1963-65.
- On 28 May 1965, Chela was asked to deliver the address at the ceremony where Francisco José Duarte was being awarded an honorary doctorate by the Central University of Venezuela.
- Chela could speak from much personal experience since he had been taught by Duarte and had also been a colleague for many years.
- Chela was invited as a keynote speaker at the First Venezuelan Congress of Mathematics which took place in Mérida on 17-20 March 1977.
- Bastidas explained that Chela considers that the development of mathematics should be done in accordance with the service that it has to provide in the course of industrial processes and in the effort by Venezuela against underdevelopment.
- Bastidas then asked Chela if the Faculty of Sciences shared these views of his.
- On 9 May 1985, at the National Pedagogical Institute, a heartfelt tribute was held to this distinguished Venezuelan, which was attended by relatives, former students, friends and colleagues who recalled and highlighted various aspects of the work and life of Raimundo Chela.
- Let us end with two quotes by Chela.
Born 17 November 1919, Carúpano, Sucre state, Venezuela. Died 3 July 1984, Caracas, Venezuela.
View full biography at [MacTutor](https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Chela/
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive