Person: Neubüser, Joachim
Joachim Neubüser was one of the first to create a computer package to study discrete mathematics, in particular group theory. The system GAP, development of which bgan in 1985, was awarded the ACM/SIGSAM Richard Dimick Jenks Memorial Prize for Excellence in Software Engineering applied to Computer Algebra in July 2008.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Today it is Białogard, in Poland, but when Joachim was born there it was part of Germany.
- Joachim Neubüser was only six months old when, in January 1933, Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, became chancellor and head of the German government.
- At this time Joachim was seven years old and had just begun has schooling.
- As the soldiers reached them, the group pushed the twelve year old Joachim out, shaking with fear, to talk to the soldiers since he was the only one who knew a little English.
- Joachim Neubüser completed his schooling in Oldenburg in 1951 and later in that year he entered the University of Kiel to study mathematics.
- In 1957 Joachim Neubüser graduated from the University of Kiel with the Staatsexamen (the school teacher qualification), and his doctorate (Dr. rer.
- The award of a British Council scholarship funded a postdoctoral year 1957-58 for Joachim at the University of Manchester.
- When Joachim Neubüser arrived in Manchester he was immediately introduced to four Ph.D. students of B H Neumann, namely Jim Wiegold, Gilbert Baumslag, Ian David Macdonald and Michael Frederick Newman.
- After his postdoctoral year at Manchester, Joachim returned to Kiel in 1958 where he was appointed as an assistant to Wolfgang Gaschütz.
- Joachim Neubüser often spent nights and weekends at the Z22, programming the machine and watching it work.
- Programs were handed to the Z22 in the form of punched tape, and Joachim Neubüser was able to read the programs on these tapes fluently.
- Now 1967 was an eventful year for Joachim Neubüser for in that year he completed work on his habilitation thesis Die Untergruppenverbände der Gruppen der Ordnung ≤ 100 mit Ausnahme der Ordnungen 64 und 96 Ⓣ(The subgroup lattices of the groups of order d ≤ 100 except for orders 64 and 96).
- In 1969 Joachim was named chair of the Lehrstuhl D für Mathematik at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH Aachen University).
- The Lehrstuhl D für Mathematik was a new department, specially created to bring Joachim Neubüser to Aachen.
- With their help Joachim began to quickly establish a major computational group theory team.
- Around 1971 Joachim Neubüser and John Cannon began a collaboration on a general purpose computational group theory system called the Aachen-Sydney Group System.
- Joachim, however, left the project in the early 1980s mainly due to having a different vision about computer systems.
- We became good friends and, around the beginning of 1979 Ian told me that Joachim Neubüser had produced a counter-example to the class breadth conjecture.
- Joachim agreed, provided we chose dates to fit in with the German school holidays.
- With large numbers registering for the conference Groups St Andrews 1981, Joachim said we needed more than three main speakers so we invited Derek Robinson.
- Joachim's lecture series An elementary introduction to coset table methods in computational group theory was expanded into a 45-page article in the Proceedings.
- When Joachim saw it he was furious we had changed his reference style and told me so in no uncertain terms.
- Joachim would have been furious.
- One of Neubüser's aims in writing his survey was to provide a unified view on coset table methods in computational group theory.
- A number of computer algebra systems were developed in Aachen by Joachim in collaboration with other colleagues.
- In 1982 the system Sogos became available based on Joachim Neubüser's algorithm to compute subgroup lattices.
- The system for which Joachim Neubüser is best known is GAP which began life around 1985.
- These Proceedings contain an article by Professor Neubüser based on a lecture he gave in the first week of the conference.
- After he retired, Joachim, of course, continued to take a passionate interest in GAP development and was in frequent contact with me.
- In his 1993 lecture, Joachim Neubüser spoke about "Some concerns" looking at the positive and negative aspects of using a computer to solve algebra problems.
Born 18 June 1932, Belgard, Germany (now Białogard, Poland). Died 25 September 2021, Aachen, Germany.
View full biography at [MacTutor](https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Neubuser/
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive