Person: Laguardia, Rafael
Rafael Laguardia was a Uraguayan mathematician best known for founding the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics in Montevideo.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- From a very young age, Laguardia was strongly attracted to mathematics and applied himself to study it with great determination.
- Returning to Montevideo, Laguardia resumed his role as a Secondary Education teacher and, on 8 April 1929, he was appointed as an Assistant in Analytic Geometry in the Faculty of Engineering in Montevideo.
- University staff and others had to express allegiance to Terra and this led to Laguardia's resignation.
- Further on in this biography we give a quote which describes how Áurea helped Laguardia.
- On 18 November 1934 Rafael Laguardia wrote to the Dean of Secondary Education, Eugenio P Baroffio, giving his views on teaching mathematics at secondary level.
- From the beginning of the thirties, Laguardia's house was the meeting place for a small group who met there to discuss mathematical problems and consult his library, which for many years was the best in the city.
- Laguardia introduced me to the small group of mathematical 'aficionados': Antonio Petracca, Fernando Fortezza, Carlos A Infantozzi, Luis Castagnetto, and Mischa Cotlar.
- In December 1941 Laguardia received the degree of Industrial Engineer with the highest distinction.
- On 2 May 1942 Laguardia presented to the Faculty Council a proposal to found the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics which was accepted, the Institute officially opening on 16 July of that year.
- Some time later, when new buildings for the Faculty of Engineering were constructed, Laguardia had the opportunity to influence the architectural design of the mezzanine where it was to be located.
- That tube consisted of a succession of large transparent glass windows, which were on the sides of the offices and allowed one to see right through the Institute from the first office, where the secretaries worked, right to the last office, which was Laguardia's.
- A Rockefeller Foundation scholarship enabled Laguardia to spend from March to December 1943 at the University of Rosario de Santa Fe in Argentina where he worked closely with Beppo Levi.
- Laguardia's Rockefeller Foundation scholarship was extended to cover 1945-46 when, at the invitation of Solomon Lefschetz, he was a "Visiting Fellow by Courtesy of Princeton University" and also gave a summer course at Brown University.
- During the time he spent in the United States, Laguardia attended seminars, colloquia and congresses of the American Mathematical Society and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.
- Laguardia returned to Montevideo where he continued teaching courses on mathematical analysis.
- Without doubt she had a lot of influence on the progress and on the character of Laguardia.
- Telephone calls to the Institute came to the secretary, the telephone in Laguardia's office was a "derivative" of that in the secretary's office.
- Laguardia resigned as Director of the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics in 1973 and Cabaña, the author of the above quote, took over as Director.
- A short time before dying, Laguardia presented me with an 'Enciclopedia Larousse' which somehow passed through the jail censors, and which was, and still is, a source of remembrance of him.
- Almost nothing that Laguardia had built up over 30 years was left standing by the dictatorship.
- Enrique Cabaña visited Laguardia in 1980 when he was already seriously ill, and told him what he knew about the activities of his collaborators in different parts of the world.
- Rafael Laguardia", thus becoming the IMERL.
Born 10 January 1906, Montevideo, Uruguay. Died 31 August 1980, Montevideo, Uruguay.
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