This page is a tribute to Luis Santaló , a distinguished mathematician and mathematics educator who left their mark on the world Collaboration. It was one of the main drivers of IACME


Luis Antonio Santaló Sors born in Gerona , Spain , on October 9, 1911 and died in Buenos Aires ( Argentina ) on November 23, 2001 .

Steering was CIAEM since 1966 ( when it was held the Second CIAEM in Lima ) and its president between 1972 and 1979 .

A beautiful obituary Santaló did the newspaper El Mundo ( Spain , November 24, 2001 ), from which we quote a few paragraphs .

Santaló was an outstanding mathematician . Among other achievements , he pioneered integral geometry , a complex area of ​​mathematics that combines classical geometry with modern calculus. The union of these two fields in principle as separate , led to a major revolution in those disciplines and sometimes as the calculation of probabilities. Santaló investigations were largely theoretical, but as usual, then have important applications in engineering, science and even medicine.

Therefore in 1983 he received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Scientific Research, in 1996 the Knights of Alfonso X the Wise and the Catalan Government in 1984 awarded him the medal Narcís Monturiol to Science and the Creu de Sant Jordi in 1994 .

Born in Girona , graduated in Madrid in 1934 and his Ph.D. in 1936 . Then he went to see the world : collaborated in universities in Germany, France and the United States , until in 1939 ended up in Argentina where he taught Julio Rey Pastor, the most prestigious Spanish mathematician of the twentieth century .

Pastor King returned to his chair in Spain , but wanted to stay in Argentina Santaló although he made ​​numerous offers to come back. "In Argentina I have my life and I can not go ," answered repeated requests , especially Catalan universities . And it was true : in Buenos Aires and lived there married his daughters and grandchildren. There also founded an important school of mathematics and wrote the most famous of his 25 books : Integral geometry and geometric probability , a classic for students studying science and engineering worldwide .

One of his obsessions was how to overcome the widespread difficulty understanding mathematics. To get started a line of research that has renewed teaching in the field of education in mathematics and also wrote numerous books .

In Argentina he became president of the Academy of Sciences and his work in integral geometry was recognized worldwide : a member of the Academy of Sciences New York , of the Royal Statistical Society of the United Kingdom or of the International Society of stereology , among others.

Those who tried , after praising his brilliant research in an area so hard and thankless , described him as " charming ,

very simple and it conquered with his extreme kindness . " Those who did not know him but have had to deal with the experience of trying to understand the math always appreciate your effort to make something easier.

Santaló said :

When talking about the resources of a country there is one, usually low , it is not usual to mention : the mathematical talents . Every child captures the essence of our science , but only some, naturally gifted , they will stand or try a creative work . We know that manifest at an early age and if not educated are undermined then , is the duty of the school to discover them and guide them , it is the obligation of society to provide opportunities for their development. The rest of the people without the capacity or that special vocation , must , however , learn all the mathematics needed to understand the world we live . Not knowing the language to aspiring science and techniques used is locked into a way of illiteracy that a civilized country can not tolerate. Here the price of neglect is dependence , loss of sovereignty.


The Executive Committee presented at the XIII CIAEM CIAEM , 26 to 30 June 2011 , for the first time the first medal Luis Santaló , an educator and friend of IACME whose efforts within international educational institutions have contributed much to the development of IACME .

Medal Luis Santaló