Emil Weyr


Born: 1 July 1848 in Prague, Bohemia (now Czech Republic)
Died: 25 January 1894 in Vienna, Austria


Emil Weyr's father Frantisek Weyr was born in Náchod in 1820. Frantisek was a professor of mathematics at a realschule (secondary school) in Prague from 1855. Emil was four years older than his brother Eduard Weyr who also became a famous mathematician. Emil attended the realschule in Prague where his father taught, then studied at the Prague Polytechnic from 1865 to 1868 where he was taught geometry by Vilém Fiedler. He became an assistant of Jindrich Durége and after receiving his doctorate, became a Privatdozent at the Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague in 1870.

He studied in Italy with Cremona and Casorati during the academic year 1870-71 returning to Prague where he continued to teach. In 1872 he was elected to be Head of the Union of Czech Mathematicians and Physicists. In 1875 he was appointed as professor of mathematics at the University of Vienna. He, together with his brother Eduard Weyr, were the main members of the Austrian geometric school. They were interested in descriptive geometry, then in projective geometry and their interests turned towards algebraic and synthetic methods in geometry. Among many works Emil Weyr published were Die Elemente der projectivischen Geometrie and Über die Geometrie der alten Aegypter.

Emil Weyr led the geometry school in Vienna throughout the 1880's up until his death. Frantisek Weyr, the father of the two brothers Emil and Eduard, died in Predmerice in 1889. Together with Gustav von Escherich, Emil Weyr founded the important mathematical journal Monatshefte fuer Mathematik und Physik in 1890. The first volumes of the journal contain papers written by his brother Eduard. In 1891 Emil Weyr became one of the first 19 founder members of the Royal Czech Academy of Sciences.

Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

February 2005


MacTutor History of Mathematics
[http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Weyr.html]