Loewy, Alfred

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Loewy, Alfred

(b. Rawitsch, Germany [now Rawicz, Poznan, Poland], 20 June 1873; d, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, 25 January 1935)


Loewy studied from 1891 to 1895 at the universities of Breslau, Munich, Berlin, and Göttingen. He earned his Ph.D. in 1894 at Munich; was granted his Habilitation as Privatdozent at Freiburg in 1897; and became extraordinary professor in 1902. Not until 1919 was he appointed a full professor at Freiburg. In 1935 he was forced into retirement because he was a Jew. From about 1920 he was troubled with poor eyesight and he died totally blind.

Loewy published some seventy papers in mathematical periodicals and a few books. He edited German translations of works by Abel, Fourier, and Sturm; and the greater portion of the first part of Pascal’s Repertorium was his work. His publications were concerned mainly with linear groups, with the algebraic theory of linear and algebraic differential equations, and with actuarial mathematics.


I. Original Works. Loewy’s writings include Versicherungsmathematik, Göschen collection, 180 (Leipzig, 1903); Lehrbuch der Algebra (Leipzig, 1915); and Mathematik des Geld- und Zahlungsverkehrs (Leipzig, 1920).

Translations edited by Loewy or to which he contributed are N. H. Abel, Abhandlung über eine besondere Klasse algebraisch auflösbarer Gleichungen, Ostwald’s Klassiker no. 111 (Leipzig, 1900); J. B. Fourier, Die Auflösung der bestimmten Gliechungen, Ostwald’s Klassiker no. 127 (Leipzig, 1902); C. Sturm, Abhandlung über die Auflösung der numerischen Gleichungen, Ostwald’s Klassiker no. 143 (Leipzig, 1904); and E. Pascal, ed., Repertorium der höheren Mathematik, P. Epstein and M. E. Timerding, eds., 2nd ed., I (Leipzig, 1910).

II. Secondary Literature. See S. Breuer, “Alfred Loewy,“in Versicherungsarchiv, 6 (1935), 1-5; and A. Fraenkel, “Alfred Loewy,” in Scripta mathematika,5 (1938), 17-22, with portrait.

Hans Freudenthal