Salomon Eduard Gubler


Born: 7 July 1845 in Wila, Zürich canton, Switzerland
Died: 6 November 1921 in Zürich, Switzerland

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Eduard Gubler came from the village Wila in the Zürich canton. According to the matriculation register at the University of Bern for the academic year 1870-1871 [6], Gubler graduated from the Polytechnic in 1870. He was a student at the University of Bern, but there are no records of when he left. However, he is listed as one of Schläfli's students [4], and as a letter from Schläfli to Gysel [5] indicates, they visited each other occasionally. According to Graf, Gubler was one of Schläfli's former students who attended his funeral, along with Geiser, Bützberger and Gysel [4].

Gubler 'spent his entire career in secondary education' [3]; he taught mathematics and geometry at both the women's teachers' college and the girls' Gymnasium in Zürich. In 1894 his doctoral thesis Verwandlung einer hypergeometrischen Reihe in Anschluss an das Integral J(x)ae-bx xc-1 dx was published. His supervisor was Graf, which suggests that Gubler received his doctorate from the University of Bern. However, there are no records of when he actually wrote and submitted the thesis. In 1896 Gubler habilitated as Privatdozent at the University of Zürich with the paper Über ein discontinuirliches Integral . At the university, Gubler mainly lectured on algebraic analysis, number theory, higher algebra, planar and spherical trigonometry, integral calculus, and methodology of mathematics teaching at secondary schools.

Gubler's research interest was in the theory of Bessel functions, following the school of thought established by Schläfli's student Graf. Together with Graf, Gubler published Einleitung in die Theorie der Bessel'schen Funktionen (1898-1900). Most of his publications are schoolbooks though, such as Mündliches Rechnen. 25 Übungsgruppen. Zum Gebrauch an Mittelschulen , and Grundlehren der Geometrie für Sekundarschulen (1907). He also published a book on Leonardo da Vinci's mathematical works (1897).

Furthermore, he wrote reports on mathematics teaching in Swiss schools for various journals. The most important of these was Der mathematische Unterricht an den höhern Mädchenschulen der Schweiz (1912). Gubler co-founded the Swiss Society of Mathematics Teachers in 1901. In addition he was on the Swiss Committee for Mathematics Teaching.

Gubler joined the enlarged organising committee of the first International Congress of Mathematicians in December 1896. A couple of months later he joined the welcoming committee, together with Hirsch and Burkhardt, in order to provide additional support. Gubler attended both the 1904 ICM in Heidelberg and the 1908 ICM in Rome, but did not give any talks.

He retired from his teaching posts in 1914.

Article by: Stefanie Eminger, University of St Andrews

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University of St Andrews, Scotland

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