Jump to content

Julio Rey Pastor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Julio Rey Pastor
Born(1888-08-14)14 August 1888
Logroño, Spain
Died21 February 1962(1962-02-21) (aged 73)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Alma materComplutense University of Madrid
Scientific career
InstitutionsComplutense University of Madrid
University of Buenos Aires
Doctoral advisorEduardo Torroja Caballé
Felix Klein
Doctoral studentsAlberto Gonzalez Dominguez
Sixto Ríos
Seat F of the Real Academia Española
In office
1 April 1954 – 21 February 1962
Preceded byEmilio Fernández Galiano [es]
Succeeded byManuel Halcón [es]

Julio Rey Pastor (14 August 1888 – 21 February 1962) was a Spanish mathematician and historian of science.


Julio Rey Pastor studied high school in his hometown, and began his studies in Sciences in Vitoria. He moved to the University of Saragossa, where he found a stimulating environment in mathematics. Zoel García de Galdeano, Professor of Analytical Geometry and Calculus, was the professor who most influenced Rey Pastor’s scientific work. He graduated with honors in 1908. Rey Pastor earned his doctorate from Complutense University of Madrid in 1909, under supervision of Eduardo Torroja Caballé. Between 1911 and 1914, he studied at the University of Berlin and the University of Göttingen, under the supervision of Felix Klein. During that period, he also studied under the supervision of Professors Hermann Schwarz, Friedrich Hermann Schottky (father of Walter Schottky), and Ferdinand Georg Frobenius.[1]

His report sent to the Junta para Ampliación de Estudios (JAE) allows us to assess the significance of his studies in Germany. He especially liked Schwarz’s lectures on analytic functions and synthetic geometry, not only because of their innovations but also because Schwarz’s teaching method. In this report, Rey proposed the creation of a "seminar in mathematics to arouse the research spirit of our school children." His proposal was accepted and in 1915 the JAE created the Mathematics Laboratory and Seminar, an important institution for the development of research on this field in Spain.

From 1915, Julio Rey Pastor became a dominant figure in mathematics in Spain, and later Argentina. In that year the Junta created for him in Madrid the first mathematics research institute in Spain which was outside a university. There he started a research seminar, and contributed to the advance and modernization of mathematics research and teaching. He was also the author of a series of advanced mathematics textbooks which had a very considerable influence in the Iberian world….[2]

Undoubtedly, the creation of the laboratory was a result of Rey Pastor’s studies in Germany, and it was intended to overcome the isolation and individualism of the Spanish mathematicians. This laboratory, under the National Institute of Sciences, was first installed in the basement of the National Library, then moved to a modest apartment on Santa Teresa St., then to the building of the Center for Historical Studies and, finally, became part of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), renamed Instituto Jorge Juan de Matemáticas in 1939.

Rey Pastor’s scientific work involved research, textbooks, and articles for the general public. They reflected the changes that were taking place in mathematics. He was also interested in the history of science and, specifically, mathematics in Spain.

From 1921 Rey Pastor settled permanently in Argentina...His influence in Argentina was as important as it had been in Spain...In the mid-1930s he directed a substantial group of research students in Buenos Aires. His continued interest in the mathematics life of Spain created two parallel schools, on both sides of the Atlantic, working on similar research projects.[2]

In 1951, he was appointed director of the Instituto Jorge Juan de Matemáticas in the CSIC. His plans in Spain included two projects: the creation, within the CSIC, of an Institute of Applied Mathematics, and the foundation of a Seminar on the History of Science at the university.

In 1954, he entered the Royal Spanish Academy, proposed by Gregorio Marañón, and Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón, and delivered an acceptance speech on the algebra of language. (He had become a member of the Academy of Sciences in Madrid in 1920, and of the Academy of Sciences in Buenos Aires in 1932).

Rey Pastor showed his passion for mathematics as a researcher, as promoter of new studies, and as creator of agencies and institutions that enhanced the development of mathematics in Spain. A lunar crater Faraday G was called Reypastor by Hugh Percy Wilkins and Antonio Paluzie-Borrell, mappers of Earth's Moon, but the designation was not adopted by the International Astronomical Union.[3]

In 1956, he went back to Argentina and only returned to Spain on the occasion of the entry of his disciple, Sixto Ríos into the Academy of Sciences, on June 21, 1961. In his speech, Rey Pastor recalled the process of creation of the laboratory and the support from the JAE.

Rey Pastor occupied a seat in the Real Academia Española between 1953 and 1962. He was honored with a Spanish stamp in 2000.


  • 1910: (thesis) Correspondencia de figuras elemental, con aplicación al estudio de las figuras que engendran
  • 1916: Fondamentos de la geometría proyectiva superior, JAE
  • 1916: Introducción a la matemática superior, Madrid : Corona
  • 1917: Teoría de la representación conforme, Barcelona: Institut d’Estudis Catalans
  • 1929: Teoría geométrica de la polaridad en las figuras de las primera y segunda categorías, Madrid : Real Academia de Ciencias
  • 1931: "Un método de sumación de series", Rendiconti del Circolo Matematico di Palermo 55: 450–5.
  • 1942,5: La Ciencia y la Técnica en el Descubrimiento de América (pdf), Buenos Aires: Espasa-Calpe Argentina, link from Biblioteca Virtual Universal
  • 1957: Apuntes de la teoría de los conjuntos abstractos, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Review : Alonzo Church (1963) Journal of Symbolic Logic 28(3) :250,1)
  • 1958: (with A. de Castro Brzezicki) Funciones de Bessel (Bessel functions), Madrid: Editorial Dossat, MR0098203

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Link to the Spanish Council of Scientific Research (CSIC): http://www.residencia.csic.es/jae/en/protagonistas/41_c.htm
  2. ^ a b E.L. Ortiz (1994) "Spain, Portugal and Ibero-America, 1780 — 1930", in Companion Encyclopedia of the History and Philosophy of the Mathematical Sciences, volume 2, page 1509, Ivor Grattan-Guinness editor, Routledge ISBN 0-415-09239-6
  3. ^ Lunar Crater Faraday: ″Faraday G was called Reypastor by Hugh Percy Wilkins and Antonio Paluzie-Borrell, but the IAU did not accept that name.″, from wikispaces.com/Introduction The Moon Wiki[permanent dead link]
  • Jose Babini (1963) "Eloge: Julio Rey Pastor 1888–1962", Isis 54(2).
  • Luis Español Gonzales (2000) "Julio Rey Pastor y la matematica de los imaginarios", Investigacion humanistica y cientifica en La Rioja
  • E.L. Ortiz, editor (1988) The Works of Julio Rey Pastor, 8 volumes, London: The Humboldt Library

Further reading[edit]

  • Gasca, Ana Millán (1988). El matemático Julio Rey Pastor. Logroño: Colegio Universidad de la Rioja. ISBN 84-600-5432-2.
  • Eduardo L. Ortiz, Antoni Roca I Rosell, and Jose M. Sachez Ron (1989) "Ciencia y técnica en Argentina y España (1941 – 1949) a través de la correspondencia de Julio Rey Pastor y Esteban Terradas", Llull: revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas 12(22): 33–150.
  • Edwardo L. Ortiz (2011) Rey Pastor su posición en la escuela matemática argentina, Revista de la Unión Matemática Argentina 52(1): 149–94.
  • Luis Santaló (1990) "La Obra de Rey Pastor en Geometría y Topología", Revista de la Unión Matemática Argentina 35: 3–12.

External links[edit]