Biography of Zoel García Galdeano (1846-1924)

Engineer, mathematician and Spanish philosopher born in Pamplona in 1846 and died in Zaragoza in 1924. He/She began his studies between his hometown and Valencia. The lack of media family toward higher education, induced le to teach private lessons in mathematics in order to cover expert appraiser surveyor of lands and upper master studies. Later he/she studied secondary education, made opposition to teaching and passed them out of place. He/She enrolled at the Faculty of philosophy and letters, study that he/she with the of the Facultad Libre de Sciences of Zaragoza. It completed the Bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1871 and was appointed Professor of differential and integral calculus of the science faculty until 1872, year, together with a group of teachers, founded the Instituto Libre de Calahorra. From here it went to official of the Ministry of the Interior, since it lost with the change of Government. In Madrid dedicated himself to private education, until in 1881 Professor of the Institute of Ciudad Real objections he/she won and then Almeria and Toledo. In 1889 he/she won the Chair of general and analytic geometry of Zaragoza, and in 1896 of infinitesimal calculus at the same University, since he/she played until his retirement in 1918.

He was always very concerned by the teaching methodology and mathematical literature criticism, he/she defended with the union of the historical generation and logical generation of our knowledge. It was the first Spanish author who wrote on the theory of functions of a complex variable of Augustin-Louis Cauchy, of groups of substitutions of n-dimensional geometry (see geometry). It adopted the criterion of interest in the study of mathematics to find and create a conducive environment. Then, as puts it, "instead of discover Mediterranean, believed that he/she urged to strengthen the spirits, informing them of what exists". It, as almost all the mathematicians of his generation, opposition to chair were considered highly harmful. In 1891 he/she founded, without more medium or AIDS, the mathematical progress magazine, which arrived in the ninth and two numbers. He/She gave lectures in Ateneo de Madrid, as before José Mariano Vallejo and José Echegaray, did on the modern organization of mathematics, published in part in the mathematical progress until it disappeared this magazine.

He attended all the international congresses, on occasion as the sole Spanish representative. Very appreciated internationally, at the beginning of the publication of L'Enseignement mathématique, included an article in the first issue. He/She was a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the University of Zaragoza. He/She left a rent of 1.500 annual pesetas, thousand pesetas for the library of the Faculty of Sciences and five hundred to reward a brilliant student of the physical or exact sections. (See math.)


Most of his mathematical works are articles and some books difficult to find outside of the University of Zaragoza. A first block of articles appeared in the mathematical progress between 1891-1895 and 1899-1900. Another group of articles introduced them to the Congress of the Spanish Association for the advancement of science, in Zaragoza (1908), Valencia (1910), Granada (1911) and Seville (1917).

GARCÍA GALDEANO, Zoel: Treaty of Algebra according to modern theories, 2 vols., Toledo, 1886. He/She published them when I was a Professor of the Institute of Toledo, the first of these two volumes is devoted to elementary algebra and the second to the top. Especially in the second part, exposed the theory of algebra as it was in those years. The second volume has a short prologue in which gives an account of the progress made and CITES Hoene Wronski, Augustin-Louis Cauchy. Baron, James Joseph Sylvester, Arthur Cayley, Niels Henrik Abel and Evariste Galois. The book is divided into two sections, the first dedicated to the continuity of functions, derivatives, differentials, series of differences and equations. The second, combinatorics, substitutions, determinants, theory of elimination, alternating and symmetric functions, homogeneous shapes, Invariance and Covariance.

GARCÍA GALDEANO, Zoel: Critique and synthesis of Algebra. (Toledo, J. Pelaez, 1888). Preceded by work of a historical overview in which develops the concept of number, of continuity, the geometric algebra and the concepts of combination and order. Then examines the plan of teaching of algebra and the theory of numbers, the equation and function concepts and, finally, the theory of algebraic equations. It outlines the known theorem of Évariste Galois on the efficacy of an equation of degree n, who later would be exposed in detail by José Echegaray.


PINEDA, Pedro: Don Zoel García de Galdeano, magazine mathematical Hispano-Americana, 6, pp. 97-103 (1924).REY PASTOR, Julio, the mathematical superior, methods and problems of the 19th century. (Buenos Aires, Iberoamericana, 1951).

Santiago Garma Pons