Person: Hönig, Chaim Samuel
Chaim Samuel Hönig was born in Berlin but became a Brazilian citizen. He was the founder of the Brazilian Mathematics Colloquium in 1957 and its first organiser. He was also a founder of the Brazilian Mathematical Society in 1969 and its first president.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Chaim began his schooling in Germany but he explained in a 2003 interview that he did not excel in his studies at this time.
- Returning to Poland, or to another country bordering Germany, already looked like a bad move to the Hönigs.
- Within three months, Chaim and Eugenia were only speaking Portuguese to each other, although for a while they still needed to speak German with their parents who took longer to learn the language.
- Hönig began his schooling in Porto Alegre in 1937, attending a Junior School until 1939.
- Unlike his experience in the German school system, Hönig now showed himself a brilliant student in all his subjects.
- It was through them that Chaim learned about the existence of the undergraduate course in Mathematics at the Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras of the University of São Paulo.
- Hönig was advised by the two professors who told him that if he wanted to study mathematics in Brazil, the best place was at the Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras of the University of São Paulo.
- It was indeed an excellent Department containing leading international mathematicians that provided Hönig with an inspiring environment in which to study.
- He was awarded a Ph.D. in 1950 for his thesis entitled "Sôbre a medida de Lebesgue." In 1951, Hönig was appointed as Farah's assistant in Higher Analysis, becoming in charge of the exercise classes.
- Hönig had become a Brazilian citizen in 1950, something which was necessary before he could be appointed to an academic position.
- Hönig had been undertaking research for his doctorate from the time he graduated with a Licentiate in Mathematics, officially advised by Edison Farah although in practice he received most help from Leopoldo Nachbin.
- Hönig submitted his 44-page thesis Sôbre um método de refinamento de topologias Ⓣ(On a topology refinement method) and was awarded his doctorate in 1952.
- The 1951 paper is, in fact, Hönig's Ph.D. thesis in which he constructs examples of curious topological spaces.
- Cândido Lima da Silva Dias suggested that, because the teaching and research at São Paulo had been heavily influenced by members of Bourbaki, Hönig would benefit from postdoctoral studies in Paris.
- With financial support from both the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development and from the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Hönig was a postdoctoral fellow at the Henri Poincaré Institute in France from 1953 to 1955.
- In 1957 the series of Brazilian Mathematics Colloquia was begun by Hönig.
- By the time of the Sixth Brazilian Mathematics Colloquium held from 2 July to 22 July 1967 there had been a change in format and Hönig delivered the Improvement course Introdução às Funções de uma Variável Complexa Ⓣ(Introduction to functions of a complex variable.).
- In 1959, Leopoldo Nachbin invited Hönig to work simultaneously at the IMPA and at the Mathematics Department in São Paulo.
- In the early 1960s Hönig was told that he was no longer required as an assistant in Higher Analysis.
- Hönig spent the years from 1961 to 1964, working as a visiting professor at the Faculté des Sciences in Rennes, France.
- Hönig was leading the move to establish the Society and he was elected as the first President.
- The Society began publishing a Bulletin in 1970 and Hönig wrote the Introduction to the first part of the first volume.
- Hönig also acted as coordinator of the Mathematics Advisory Board of the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Educational Personnel), of the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) and Fundação de Amparo e Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo - FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation).
- We are especially grateful to Professor Chaim for his immense generosity in donating his personal collection to our library.
Born 1 February 1926, Berlin, Germany. Died 19 March 2018, São Paulo, Brazil.
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