- 18.1 Introduction
- 18.2 The Prehistory of the Creation of Universities in Brazil
- 18.3 The Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932
- 18.4 The Creation of the USP in the Context of the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932
- 18.5 The International Perspective in the Creation of the USP
- 18.6 The Internal Structure of the USP and the Controversial Status of Mathematics
- 18.7 Fantappiè and the Dispute Concerning the Chair of Calculus at the Polytechnic School
- 18.8 The Shift of the Mathematics Curriculum
- 18.9 Conclusions
At the center of this case study is the dispute between the USP University Council and the Collegium of the Polytechnic School over the Chair of Complements of Analytical Geometry, Elements of Nomography and Differential and Integral Calculus. In this dispute, the ongoing
The very idea of a university met with singular resistance in Brazil Teixeira 1989.
The situation did not improve even after the formation of the Republic in 1889.
The following is based on the discussion in Souza-Campos 1954 of the Brazilian education and scientific community up to the early 1950s. In addition, we have consulted the annual reports of the USP and Polytechnic School which comprise academic reports on seminars, conferences, talks and other documents mentioning the names of scholars who are today considered key players by historians of science in Brazil. We have furthermore consulted the minutes of the Polytechnic School Collegium and the University Council, which also contain substantial resources.
18.2 The Prehistory of the Creation of Universities in Brazil
The first constitution of the Brazilian Republic of 1891 was favorable to the creation of a university. Nevertheless, the initial period of the Republic experienced a strengthening of the anti-university tendencies. These were due to a preference for a pragmatic and
The text of the Brazilian constitution in fact supported liberal ideas whose essential political issues were in accordance with the political principles of the United States. A crucial characteristic of this text was the autonomy it conferred to the states of Brazil, for example, the Brazilian constitution equipped the new republic with a decentralized political model. A naive understanding of the institutionalization of the democratic republic could lead to the assumption that once this new political regime came into force, the pro-university faction would become strong enough to carry out the implementation of the university system. However, it took another forty years before this undertaking was actually realized, not least because of the political presence within the new regime of the
At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was an increase in the number of
The 1920s and 1930s also saw the emergence of scientific and artistic movements in Brazil, which strengthened the discussions in favor of the creation of a university. According to Schwartzman 1979, in 1922 the “Semana da Arte Moderna” in São Paulo enabled Brazil to produce its own art and therefore facilitated greater contact with the most original artistic movements of Europe. Also in the 1920s, the Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Letters) and the Associação Brasileira de Educação (Brazilian Association of Education) grasped the spirit of renewal of Brazilian science and education, initiating a strong movement to expand and modernize the educational system of Brazil at all levels. The Academia Brasileira de Ciências (Brazilian Academy of Science), created in 1917, encouraged publications in the journal Revista Brasileira de Ciências and promoted exchange with foreign scientists such as Émile Borel, Emil Grey, Henri Abraham, Henry Piéron, Albert Einstein, Paul Janet, Émile Marchouy and George Dumas, who visited Brazil in the 1920s.2
From 1927, a number of studies and initiatives were dedicated to secondary education and to the question of a Brazilian university. They were supported by the newspapers O Estado de São Paulo and Jornal do Comércio. Members of a commission established by the Associação Brasileira de Educação visited São Paulo, Bahia and the Minas Gerais states, and the section responsible for technical and higher education gathered the opinions of experts and professionals on a number of themes. These included the most suitable
The first educational reform with national character was established in 1931 by the former minister of health and education Francisco Campos during the federal government of Getúlio Vargas. It established a layered
At least two models can be identified that were considered as options in the dispute about what kind of university Brazil would adopt: the liberal model proposed by intellectuals linked to the Academia Brasileira de Ciências, and the model proposed by Francisco Campos’s education reform. Despite the fact that the first university in Brazil, the USP, was based on the liberal model, from 1937 it was Francisco Campos’s
18.3 The Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932
During the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932, also known as the Paulista War, the population of the state of São Paulo rose up against the central government of Getúlio Vargas in fighting that lasted from 9 July to 4 October. The movement was triggered by local dissatisfaction with Vargas’s disrespect of the autonomy of Brazilian states and demanded a new constitution for Brazil. Although the state of São Paulo was defeated, Vargas granted some of the main claims of the revolutionaries, such as the appointment of an elected non-military state governor and the decree for a new constitution in 1934. This new constitution, however, lasted only for a short period, since in 1937 Vargas closed the National Congress and created another constitution that established the authoritarian regime, known as “Estado Novo.” The Constitutionalist Revolution was the first major revolt against the government of Vargas and the last major armed conflict in the history of Brazil.
The revolution had been supported by São Paulo’s bourgeoisie and demanded a democratic constitution for the republic of Brazil, as well as the administrative independence of the state of São Paulo. It had no longer been possible to reconcile the
In May 1933, after the defeat of the revolutionaries, Armando de Salles Oliveira (1887–1945) was elected governor of São Paulo as part of a compromise between São Paulo and the central government. Had Vargas in November 1930 handed over the state of São Paulo to a prominent member of the democratic party linked to the cause of the Revolution, then the country would probably not have entered into civil war in July 1932 Hilton 1982. More generally, after the Revolution Vargas conceded many of the demands that had caused unrest in 1930.
18.4 The Creation of the USP in the Context of the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932
In 1934 Brazil was also entering the
In São Paulo, the group involved in the movement for the creation of a university was constituted by Theodoro Ramos, an engineer from the Polytechnic School, Julio de Mesquita Filho, Fernando de Azevedo, director of the Instrução Pública do Estado de São Paulo (Public Training Center for the State of São Paulo) and Paulo Duarte. Armando de Salles Oliveira put these names forward for the organizing committee charged with establishing the USP. Mesquita Filho was the president of this committee and Ramos charged with bringing European scholars to Brazil. Still in this context, an important undertaking assumed by Mesquita Filho and Duarte, together with Fernando de Azevedo was to establish the Faculty for Philosophy, Sciences and Languages which was to integrate all fields of knowledge and become a prestigious center for basic scientific research Silva 1997. Several factors are responsible for the success of the USP. One of them is that the university inherited prestige from the School of Medicine, the School of Law and the Polytechnic School, all of which were integrated during its creation. Another important factor was the role of the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Language, which did not come into being until the foundation of the USP.
18.5 The International Perspective in the Creation of the USP
Julio de Mesquita Filho affirmed in 1937 that only a radical reform of the educational apparatus in the country and the instauration of a strong
At the end of the Revolution of 1932, we had the feeling that destiny would have put São Paulo in the same condition as Germany after Jena, Japan after the bombing by the North American navy, and France after Sedan. The history of these countries would suggest the medicines for our evils. We had experienced the terrible adventures provoked, on the one hand, by the ignorance and incompetence of those who before 1930 had decided on the destiny of our state and of our nation, and on the other hand, by the emptiness and the pretension of the revolution of October 1930. Four years of close contact with the leaders of the two tendencies convinced us that the problem of Brazil was mainly a question of culture. Thus is the importance of our university and also of the Faculty of Sciences and Letters (FFCL).3
According to Teixeira 1968, in the 1930s Brazilian intellectuals and politicians believed that the creation of a faculty for philosophy, sciences and language would mean the inclusion of disciplines not necessarily associated with a professional vocation. The main purpose of the USP was to offer broad instruction comprising courses on scientific subjects, literature, arts, philosophy and other subjects.
In 1934 Theodoro Augusto Ramos was commissioned by the governor of São Paulo, Armando de Salles Oliveira, to head a delegation to the academies of Europe to hire researchers for the newly created Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Languages at USP. Ramos studied civil engineering at the Polytechnic School of Rio de Janeiro (1917) before obtaining his Ph.D. in physics and mathematics. He was then elected member of the Brazilian Society of Sciences (1918) and appointed Chair of the Polytechnic School of São Paulo (1922). The delegation to Europe also comprised the faculty chairs Georges Dumas, Paul Rivet (1876–1958) and Pierre-Marie-Felix Janet (1859–1947). Rivet was a French ethnologist, and Janet a French neurologist and psychologist.
Around 1934 many Brazilian intellectuals were influenced by Europe and America, whether they had studied at foreign universities or not. For example, Cândido Lima da Silva Dias (1913–1998) was influenced by the famous group of French mathematicians around Nicolas Bourbaki. He became the first director of the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, IME/USP Silva Dias 1994. He began his studies at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1932, but moved to the newly created subsection of mathematics at USP in 1934. His first academic paper in 1941 on the theory of analytic functions inspired him to pursue a teaching career, to which he devoted himself for fifty-four years. From 1948 to 1949 he went to the United States, more specifically to Harvard, Princeton and Chicago, the three main centers of mathematics at that time. He dedicated his life to stimulating scientific research in mathematics and to the training of new researchers, as well as the dissemination and improvement of mathematical
Although the theoretical knowledge of European scholars was not necessarily the same as that of Brazilian scholars, all of these intellectuals shared the
In 1934, Europe was economically and politically unstable, a situation that was favorable to Brazil in its foundation of the USP. Some European intellectuals were eager to leave Europe, a situation that facilitated negotiations with these scholars. Many communist intellectuals moved to the American continent, but also nationalist intellectuals who went to spread their ideas, as was the case with Fantappiè Petijean 1996.
18.6 The Internal Structure of the USP and the Controversial Status of Mathematics
The governer de Salles appointed the rector as well as the directors of the institutions of higher education, including the director of the Polytechnic School. The engineer Fonseca Telles was appointed director by the government in absence of the Polytechnic School Collegium USP 1935. The Polytechnic School lost its self-administration, evidenced by the fact that the new director oversaw the school’s supervisory body USP 1935.
The case of the Polytechnic illustrates the controversial status that the introduction of European ideals had for the university. The ideal of the university based on the Faculty of Philosophy as integrating all areas was evidently not shared by everyone. That a mathematician rather than an engineer should occupy the chair of mathematics at this school was the expression of the idea that subjects of “general culture” should be taught by lecturers of the Faculty of Philosophy, or more precisely, the Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Language. For the engineers of the Polytechnic School, however, a mathematician was unacceptable, since a mathematician was not considered capable of teaching the approach that engineers found necessary for their purposes USP 1935. A mathematician would present this knowledge, prioritizing axiomatic rigor, at the expense of immediate applications, an approach typical of those who graduated in courses of “general culture” USP 1935.
The majority of the advisers of the Polytechnic School Collegium did not accept the proposal to appoint the mathematician Luigi Fantappiè, however, arguing that mathematics for engineers should be taught by engineers USP 1935. Fantappiè was born in Viterbo, Italy. He began his studies at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa in 1918 and graduated with a doctorate in 1922. After studying from 1922 to 1924 at various universities abroad, he worked in Rome and Cagliari. In 1926 he was appointed Chair of Algebraic Analysis at the University of Florence; he then moved to Palermo to take up the Chair of Infinitesimal Analysis. He was invited by Theodoro Ramos to help set up the mathematics
The examination held to fill the Chair of Complements of Analytical Geometry, Elements of Nomography and Differential and Integral Calculus took place in 1933. Even before 1934, one of the candidates, Omar Catunda, suggested there were irregularities in the exam and requested that the examination be investigated by the juridical advisor. This investigation set off a series of legal and political events that reinforced the authority of the university over the Polytechnic School. Omar Catunda was born in 1906 in Santos, Brazil. He studied at the Polytechnic School of São Paulo in 1930 and worked briefly as an engineer for the local government in Santos. In 1933 he took the examination for the Chair of Complements of Analytical Geometry, Elements of Nomography and Differential and Integral Calculus and was approved as a candidate of second rank. In 1934 he became the assistant to Luigi Fantappiè at the USP. In 1944 he took over the Chair of Analysis at the FFCL. He not only initiated many young people in the research in his field of functional analysis, but also played a central role in restructuring the teaching of mathematics analysis. In 1963, Catunda retired from the USP and assumed a position at the Federal University of Bahia, where he remained until his death in 1986.
18.7 Fantappiè and the Dispute Concerning the Chair of Calculus at the Polytechnic School
In 1934, with the creation of the USP, Italian mathematicians were invited to Brazil to collaborate in shaping the mathematics conceptions in the courses of the FFCL. In particular, as we have discussed, Fantappiè was invited to assume the mathematics chair at the Polytechnic School. This chair was established at the same time for the new USP and the old Polytechnic School, institutions represented by the University Council and the Collegium of the Polytechnic School, respectively.
Four names will be at the focus of this section, three of which will already be familiar to the reader: Fantappiè, Ramos, director of the FFCL, Omar Catunda, and José Octavio Monteiro de Camargo. Camargo was a mechanical and electrical engineer who graduated from the Polytechnic School in 1922. Since he had ranked first, he was entitled to a scholarship to study abroad. While based in Brussels and Liège in Belgium, he also worked in Germany and Italy. Between 1928 and 1933 he was the Deputy Chair of Complements of Analytical Geometry and Elements of Nomography Differential and Integral Calculus at the Polytechnic School. In November 1933, he applied for the chair and was ranked in first place, but another candidate appealed the examination so that it was annulled in 1934. Camargo also appealed against this result and won the case by a decree of 18 June 1938. He became a member of the University Council in 1938 USP 1938.
Fantappiè is regarded as one of those responsible for a change in the approach to teaching mathematics at the Polytechnic School and for how the mathematics
The presence of foreign teachers at the pioneer stage of the Faculty of Philosophy was crucial, important and refreshing. Fantappiè, for example, introduced in Brazil the
mathematics courses, previously taught only in polytechnics and engineering schools, which had been restricted to the infinitesimal calculus. Fantappiè developed courses of an entirely different nature: group theory, continuous groups, number theory, differential forms applied to analysis, tensorial analysis. Silva Dias 1994
According to the interview by Cândido Lima da Silva Dias 1997, Ramos had the freedom and knowledge to choose Europeans to shape mathematics in the FFCL. Another testimony comes from Milton Vargas, born in Niterói in 1914. He studied at the Polytechnic School of São Paulo during the 1930s, graduating in 1938 as electrical engineer and in 1941 as a civil engineer. He made important contributions to the research field of ground
The success of these two basic courses: mathematics given by the Italians Luigi Fantappiè and Giacomo Albanese, and physics by the Italo-Russian Gleb Wataghin is explained by the higher didactical capacity of these excellent teachers and by the fact that they were aware that they were also teaching future engineers. The influence of this new approach to training engineers was remarkable. It occurred at precisely the time when the evolution of technology
required higher mathematics and advanced physics to solve technological problems. Even today the engineering teaching at the Polytechnic of São Paulo cannot escape the echoes of that great revolution promoted by Fantappié, Albanese and Wataghin Oliveira 2007, 20.
The minutes of the University Council evince no consensual opinion about Fantappiè’s teaching at the Polytechnic School USP 1935. Apart from this, the director of the Polytechnic School’s decision to appoint Fantappiè to the Chair of Calculus was seen as an affront by most members of the Collegium of the Polytechnic School. This situation set off a dispute between the Collegium and the University Council, which led the Collegium to seek juridical review of the case. During the University Council meeting of 13 March 1935, the juridical advisor Abrahão Ribeiro was presented as a referee:
[…] he recognizes the high value of the lecturer Fantappiè and thinks that to the Polytechnic School it would be more desirable to have a teacher who is purely professional and he does not see any advantage in high cultural education [general culture]. He quotes Professor Ammann from Karlsruhe to support this thesis: “In all the technical colleges, the first three or four semesters comprise mainly mathematics, mechanics, natural and economic sciences. We do not consider these to be science in themselves, as in the universities, but always from the viewpoint of their applications. For technical colleges, however, there is a great difficulty in the fact that teachers of these disciplines, most of whom come from universities, only rarely—if ever—can adapt themselves to the needs of the superior technical college. They teach in a very abstract way, without regard for technical applications. Mathematics cannot help but discourage the young students unless they can apply it on the basis of technical studies. Consequently it is an urgent need for superior technical schools to train mathematical engineers who are encouraged by the understanding of the technical problems to reveal to the young students the necessity and beauty of this auxiliary science. One could thus achieve very different results of mathematical studies. Thus it began that chairs for mathematics were entrusted to engineers, as has already been done almost universally with regard to the chairs for mechanics
.” USP 1935
This dispute is representative of a process which, in the twentieth century, occurred at most institutions of higher education where mathematics was taught as an auxiliary science. In our case, we have seen that mathematics at the Polytechnic School even became a matter of dispute in a legal and political sense. Who would be the better lecturer, Fantappiè, the mathematician, or Camargo, the mechanical and electrical engineer? Since the fundamentals of calculus would be taught according to the teacher’s approach, it was a matter of contention rather than choosing the “right” candidate.
The detailed history of the appointment was extremely intricate and litigious. According to the minutes of the Polytechnic School Collegium USP 1935 Jorge Americano argued, based on the Polytechnic School Statute:
Since the Chair’s replacement must be established in accordance with Article 112, Fantappiè cannot be hired to this chair because he is not the Chair of Calculus as well. In this case, it is the responsibility of the Polytechnic School Collegium to appoint a substitute, and the director’s responsibility to implement this resolution according to the article mentioned above.
Jorge Americano remembered the important fact that the unoccupied chair depended on appeal, which, had this turned out in Otavio Camaro’s favor, would have resulted in its immediate occupation by him. The previous occupation of the chair by a foreign lecturer, in this case Fantappiè, could have resulted in an embarassing situation. The University Council, however, approved the Fantappiè for the Chair of Calculus. According to Fernando de Azevedo’s argument, this case could be regarded as a case of omission for this statute. In this situation the Council decided to vote. In a vote by the Committee on Legislation and Appeals, the decision was approved against the votes of the chairs Ricardo Gaspar Jr., Octavio Teixeira Mendes and Jorge Americano USP 1935. Gaspar Ricardo Jr., a member of the University Council, declared that the decision had not taken the Polytechnic School Collegium into account. He considered this to be an act offensive to his own prestige, asserting that he would not subordinate himself to the deliberation of the University Council and that he would appeal to the competent authorities. After expressing his opinion he left the meeting USP 1935.
Azevedo argued that the case of the appointment of the lecturer Fantappiè to the Chair of Calculus had already been resolved since it had been collectively accepted against the vote of Lucio Martins Rodrigues. Gaspar Ricardo advocated appointing the engineer José Monteiro de Camargo to the Chair of Calculus for the sake of fairness USP 1935. Director Fonseca Telles refuted Ricardo Gaspar’s argument stating that the school had a Committee of Inspectors that would be responsible for analyzing the appointment process in due time. He also criticized the opinion of Dr. Abrahão Ribeiro. Telles argued in favor of Fantappiè:
If the Council established the statute, who would be better than the Council to interpret the statute? According to the spirit of the statute and of its legislators, in the case of a vacant chair it was not even necessary to bring the case to the Collegium [of the Polytechnic School]. The director brought the case to the Collegium in a spirit of liberty [democratic spirit] in order to avoid being accused of acting as a dictator. Due to the appointment made [Fantappiè], it was contrary to the statutory rules and he appealed to the University Council. USP 1935
Azevedo criticized Gaspar Ricardo’s arguments:
With regard to the doctrine held by Gaspar Ricardo concerning practical teaching being strictly professional in the colleges [institutes of higher education], he disagrees substantially. It seems wrong to him. […] Application is the function of theory and can only be good for the people in the context of the “general culture.” He says that the issue of the abilities of Fantappiè and Monteiro de Camargo as teachers cannot be discussed by the University Council. USP 1935
Indeed, the Polytechnic School Collegiate was subordinated to the University Council:
The Chancellor of the USP remarks that the Polytechnic School Collegium is obliged to accept the deliberations of the University Council and that, by law, it not only has a duty, but also the right to be represented. USP 1935
Azevedo proposed a special committee to try to broker the peace between the Polytechnic School Collegium and the University Council and to require the governor to solve the matter of the 1933 examination for the Chair of Calculus in which Camargo was involved. The meeting was adjourned after voting on the measure, which was defeated by six to four USP 1935.
The appointment of Fantappiè was in agreement with the general aims of the intellectuals, politicians and journalists who favored the creation of a university involving European scholars. According to Oliveira 2007, Fantappiè personified the formalist view. The formalist movement was a major current in the mathematical community of the twentieth century. It was associated with a movement that began in the nineteenth century and is known today as the arithmetization of analysis. Oliveira 2007 suggests that the influence of Fantappiè was felt mainly in the mathematics course at the USP. After 1938 the Polytechnic School acquired the teaching status it had enjoyed before 1934, since José Monteiro de Camargo ultimately took over the Chair of Complements of Analytical Geometry, Elements of Nomography and Differential and Integral Calculus by order of the governor Adhemar Pereira de Barros (1901–1969). In other words, the final match was won by the engineer José Monteiro de Camargo in 1938. As we have seen above, he was ranked first in the 1933 examination, but this was annulled in 1934 by the juridical advisor of the USP after an appeal by Omar Catunda. Fantappiè and other European scholars, on the other hand, collaborated to create the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Language, and with it to concretize the ideal of the university.
18.8 The Shift of the Mathematics Curriculum
In 1934 the
This raises the question of what Fantappiè taught when he held this chair. According to Oliveira 2007, Fantappiè was responsible for a change in the foundations of the calculus course, for which he adopted the
It was the idea of limits as the foundation of calculus that characterized the change conceived by Fantappiè. Severi’s book defined limits through the Weierstrass conception, i.e., using the ε-δ method. Severi’s concept of the real number, built by means of Dedekind cuts Oliveira 2007, endowed the teaching of calculus with a formalist approach. From the point of view of the history of
The concepts presented in differential and
According to Oliveira 2007 other important aspects of Severi’s text include the weight given to discrete mathematics, with
In San Thiago’s texts the definition of the limit is as follows:
The definition of infinitesimal analysis derives from the fact that the method of Leibniz is the one more usually accepted. Before introducing the method of Leibniz, let us give a notion of the old method, which was the foundation of
differential calculus. It is called the limit of a quantity, a fixed quantity which a variable approaches without ever reaching it. The difference between the fixed limit and the variable can become smaller than any given quantity. If we suppose a circumference and a polygon inscribed in it, and if we always duplicate the number of sides, the polygon will approach the circumference and the latter will be the limit of the former.7
According to Oliveira 2007, Severi’s book was adopted within a year of San Thiago’s replacement by Fantappiè at the Polytechnic School and used for several years in the mathematics and physics courses of the FFCL—USP. In 1939, after writing the “The Course of Mathematical Analysis,” Fantappiè returned to Italy. This text had the same theoretical foundation as Severi’s book and was edited by Professor Omar Catunda, his assistant at the time. According to Silva Dias 1994 Fantappiè’s lectures were given in Italian. The physicist Wataghin initially gave his lectures in Italian, and later in Portuguese.
An important role in supporting the shift of the mathematics
I remember well the foundation of the Mathematics Library. Fantappiè was very dedicated to this initiative. When he came from Italy, he brought many books and journal collections and donated them to the library, marking the beginning of the Mathematics Library. He also included some books from the Polytechnic School. When Fantappiè returned to Italy in 1939, our library was already appreciable and has grown ever since. As a result of the
university reform of 1970, all books related to this subject were brought together into the Library of the Institute of Mathematics, consequently generating a reasonable collection if compared to the libraries of North America and Europe universities. What few people know, however, is that the initial impetus for the formation of this library was given by Luigi Fantappiè. Silva Dias 1994
The conflict concerning mathematics teaching at the newly founded USP was played out on several levels: it was a conflict between different conceptions of the university itself, including its role in society and its openness to foreign influences; an institutional conflict about administrative autonomy between the Polytechnic School Council and the University Council; a political conflict in the aftermath of the Constitutionalist Revolution; a dispute concerning the didactic value of mathematical axiomatic rigor versus the merits of a more
The final outcome, on the one hand, was the fact that José Monteiro de Camargo took over the Chair of Calculus in 1938, and this apparently represented a victory of tradition over modernity. From another perspective, however, the final outcome was Luigi Fantappiè’s long-lasting influence on future generations of students, despite the relatively short duration of his stay in Brazil.
Both “final outcomes” were the consequence of both global and local factors and of long-term historical developments. The theme of the university had been discussed in Brazil for over four centuries. When such an institution was finally established, it followed a by then almost universally accepted model, which included the then prevailing international trends for treating certain subjects, such as mathematical axiomatic rigor to mathematics.
As we were able to show in this paper, the modernist approach represented by mathematical axiomatic rigor did not simply prevail (even if only temporarily) because it represented the most progressive direction in mathematics, but rather because of very specific local political circumstances. Mathematical axiomatic rigor was adopted by Fantappiè, who was appointed by Theodoro Ramos, a member of the university’s organizing committee, appointed by the president of this committee, de Mesquita, who in turn, was appointed by the govenor of the state of São Paulo, de Salles, who was elected by the people of São Paulo. This, finally, leads back to the final negotiations after the
The history of the universities in Brazil is neither connected, as it was in other countries, with overcoming ecclesiatic traditions in favor of laical education, nor with the establishment of a
Was the creation of the USP thus a historical accident, happening so late that it actually no longer made a difference to the development of Brazil as a nation? To respond affirmatively to this question would mean to ignore another important context of the university’s creation that we have hardly touched upon here, that of the
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This is part of the speech delivered by de Mesquita Filho on the occasion of the first students’ graduation from the FFCL in 1937, see Mesquita Filho 1939.
San Thiago’s syllabus Curso de Cálculo de Rodolpho Baptista de San Thiago (1904). Archives of the Polytechnic School of São Paulo Oliveira 2003.
For biographical details of Severi, see http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Severi.html.