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Ferdinand Rudio

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2 Aug 1856

Wiesbaden, Germany

21 June 1929

Zurich, Switzerland

Ferdinand Rudio attended secondary school in his home town of Wiesbaden. He entered the Eidgenössische Polytechnikum Zürich in 1874 to study mathematics and physics. from 1877 until 1880 Rudio studied at the University of Berlin. He obtained a doctorate from the University of Berlin with a thesis on Kummer's problem of determining all surfaces of which the centres of curvature form second order cofocal surfaces. He reduced this problem to the problem of solving a differential equation .

In 1881 Rudio returned to the Eidgenössische Polytechnikum Zürich as a lecturer and, in 1889, he was appointed professor of mathematics there. Rudio was to hold this professorship until he retired in 1928.

Rudio worked on group theory , algebra and geometry. He is best remembered for his work in the history of mathematics, in particular he wrote a major article on squaring the circle and he also wrote biographies of mathematicians.

One of his most important contributions to mathematics was editing the collected works of Euler . Rudio proposed the project in 1883 since this was the centenary of Euler 's death. He continued to advocate the importance of this project and at the International Congress of Mathematicians at Zurich in 1897 he suggested it would be a suitable memorial for the year 1907 which was the bicentennial of Euler 's birth. The project was not approved until 1909, twenty six years after Rudio first proposed it.

Rudio was appointed general editor for the project. He edited two volumes himself and collaborated in the editing of three more. In fact he supervised the production of over 30 volumes in his role as general editor.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland