Person: Planchart, Enrique
Enrique Planchart worked at Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela for 47 years, first as a professor of mathematics, then as rector of the university. He fought for improvements in mathematical education, and was praised as a "defender of democracy, the University and youth".
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The home of his grandparents, Enrique Planchart Ruiz and Soledad Loynaz, was a melting pot of culture, knowledge and Venezuelan identity.
- We note here that Enrique Planchart had lost both his parents by the time he was sixteen years old.
- Enrique Planchart attended the Colegio América in the San Bernardino area of Caracas.
- He returned to teaching at the Colegio América, becoming Planchart's teacher, but Palacio Gros was reinstated to his university position so when Planchart began his studies of mathematics at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas he continued to be taught by Palacio Gros.
- We note that while at university in the late 1950s, Planchart met and became close friends with Gonzalo Pérez Iribarren.
- The Faculty of Science was created in the Central University of Venezuela in 1958 and Planchart was present at the Act of Creation.
- Planchart became a a full-time contracted professor in the Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics of the University on 1 January 1973.
- Planchart spent seven years as Head of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Simón Bolívar University but he had never undertaken research for a Ph.D. He decided that he wanted to study for a doctorate and went to the University of California, Berkeley, where he undertook research advised by Alan David Weinstein.
- Planchart was awarded a Ph.D. in 1982 for his thesis Analogies in Symplectic Geometry of Some Results of Cartan in Representation Theory.
- Returning to the Simón Bolívar University, Planchart became coordinator of the Bachelor and Postgraduate Degrees in Mathematics, a position he held from 15 May 1983 to 16 June 1985.
- Planchart delivered the course Geometría simpléctica Ⓣ(Symplectic geometry) which was published as a 109-page book.
- Planchart directed the National Centre for the Improvement of Science Teaching (CENAMEC-USB) from 1989 to 1999.
- In 2000, Planchart played the main role in setting up the Equal Opportunities Programme (Programa Igualdad de Oportunidades, PIO) and became its first coordinator.
- Planchart was elected Rector of the Simón Bolívar University in July 2009 after an election in which he stood against the electrical engineer José Ferrer, who at that time was academic vice-rector.
- It was not long before the threats to the university that Planchart saw became very real indeed.
- Planchart was only supposed to serve as rector for a period of four years, 2009-2013.
- Holder took up the appointment on 7 September 2017 and Planchart announced that the University was making an appeal.
- Planchart's health deteriorated but he made every effort to continue carrying out his duties.
- Following Planchart's death, Luis Holder was appointed as rector of Simón Bolívar University.
- He had already acted in that capacity during times when Planchart had been too ill to carry out his duties.
Born 3 April 1937, Caracas, Venezuela. Died 27 July 2021, Caracas, Venezuela.
View full biography at [MacTutor](https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Planchart/
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive