Andreas Speiser

Andreas Speiser (June 10, 1885 – October 12, 1970) was a Swiss Mathematician and Philosopher of science.

Life and work

Speiser studied since 1904 in Göttingen notably with David Hilbert, Felix Klein, Hermann Minkowski. In 1917 he became full-time professor at the University of Zurich but later relocated in Basel. During 1924/25 he was president of the Swiss Mathematical Association.

Speiser worked on number theory, group theory, and the theory of Riemann surfaces. He organized the translation of Leonard Dickson's seminal 1923 book Algebras and Their Arithmetics (Algebren und ihre Zahlentheorie, 1927), which was heavily influenced by the work on the theory of algebras done by the schools of Emmy Noether and Helmut Hasse. Speiser also added an appendix on ideal theory to Dickson's book. Speiser's book Theorie der Gruppen endlicher Ordnung is a classic, richly illustrated work on group theory. In this book, there are group theoretical applications in Galois theory, elementary number theory, and Platonic solids, as well as extensive studies of ornaments, such as those that Speiser studied on a 1928 trip to Egypt.

Speiser also worked on the history of mathematics and was the chief editor for the Euler Commission's edition of Leonhard Euler's Opera Omnia[1] and the editor of the works of Johann Heinrich Lambert. As a philosopher Speiser was chiefly concerned with Plato and wrote a commentary on the Parmenides Dialogue, but he was also an expert of the philosophies of Plotinus and Hegel.


See also


  1. Without the efforts of Speiser and the Swiss mathematician Karl Rudolf Fueter the edition started by Ferdinand Rudio (director of ETH-Bibliothek Zürich) might not have continued past WW I.
  2. Miller, G. A. (1923). "Review: Andreas Speiser, Die Theorie der Gruppen von endlicher Ordnung, mit Anwendungen auf algebraische Zahlen und Gleichungen sowie auf die Kristallographie". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 29 (8): 372. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1923-03763-4.
  3. Hall, Marshall (1938). "Review: Andreas Speiser, Theorie der Gruppen von Endlicher Ordnung. 3d ed. Berlin, Springer, 1937". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 44: 313–314. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1938-06722-5.
  4. Allen, Edward Switzer (1933). "Review: Die mathematische Denkweise, by Andreas Speiser". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 39 (7): 484–485. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1933-05643-4.
  • Martin Eichler, Nachruf in den Verhandlungen der Schweizer Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, Bd.150, 1970, S.325
  • J. J. Burckhardt, Nachruf in Vierteljahresschrift der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft Bd.115, 1970, 471
  • J. J. Burckhardt: Die Mathematik an der Universität Zurich 1916-1950 unter den Professoren R. Fueter, A. Speiser und P. Finsler, Basel, 1980
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