Horst Herrlich - A deep and enduring contribution to Mathematics

Posted 13 November 2023 by NISC under Announcements & Notices • Journal: Quaestiones Mathematicae
Horst Herrlich - A deep and enduring contribution to Mathematics

Having had a particular influence on the development of mathematics in South Africa and being involved in Quaestiones Mathematicae from its inception, Horst Herrlich (1937-2015) had a tremendous impact on the field.

A mathematician full of quirks and a love for the bizarre, the latest issue is a supplementary issue featured in Volume 46 of Quaestiones Mathematicae, and honours the memory of Horst Herrlich with the editors of Quaestiones Mathematicae inviting Klaas Pieter Hart, Mirek Hušek and Jan van Mill to be the guest editors of this issue.

Containing 9 research papers, mostly from mathematicians that knew Horst personally, the issue has been made available to read at no cost until the end of February 2024. “We feel it is important that this part of Horst’s work is highlighted, and we are glad to be able to include a historical paper by David Holgate that does just that, by recounting the story of Horst’s involvement in detail. We refer the reader interested in Horst’s full body of work to our In Memoriam in Topology and its Applications 202 (2016), 454–456,” noted the guest editors.

The thread of Horst Herrlich’s influence on South African mathematics runs through the emergence of research in Category Theory and Categorical Topology, the founding and growth of Quaestiones Mathematicae, and the delicate balance between South Africa’s isolation and the transformative impact of mathematics. He demonstrated the power of scientific depth combined with an openness to exploration and investing in human relationships.

Besides mathematics, Horst’s two great loves were biological sciences and books. Often the three were intertwined. As a young student he studied both mathematics and biology and at a certain point had to choose between the two. While he made a career out of mathematics and was convinced that this allowed him to have the greatest impact, his interest and knowledge in the biological sciences endured. Mathematical trips were combined with bird watching excursions and the studying of plants in particular. Horst will be missed for his infectious love for the quirky and bizarre.

Read more about Quaestiones Mathematicae here

CAPTION: Guillaume Br ╠łummer, Horst Herrlich, Keith Hardie, Louis Nel, Keith Househam (UCT, 1974)



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