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Bento de Jesus Caraça


He was a Portuguese mathematician and university professor. Born on April 1, 1901, in Rua dos Fidalgos, in Vila Viçosa, in a modest dependence of the Chagas Convent, where some servants of the house of Bragança were housed, Bento de Jesus Caraça He was the son of rural workers. He lived the first five years of his life in the Casa Branca estate, in the parish of Montoito, where he learned to read and write with a worker, José Percheiro.

The extraordinary speed with which he learned impressed the wife of Raul de Albuquerque (of whom Bento's father was overseer), who decided to take charge of the young man's education, without suspecting that he was sowing the seeds of knowledge in the future. be one of the most remarkable figures of Portuguese science and culture.

Having successfully completed the primary education exam in 1911 in Vila Viçosa, Bento Caraça then took the law school at the Santarém and Pedro Nunes High School in Lisbon, joining the Instituto Superior do Comércio in 1918, a name given to the present. Higher Institute of Economics and Management. At the same time, he gave explanations in order to fund his studies. As early as November 1919, he was appointed second assistant to the first group of ISCEF chairs. He graduated with high ranks in 1923, becoming first assistant in December 1924. Three years later he was appointed extraordinary teacher and 10th chair professor (Higher Mathematics, Higher Algebra, Principles of Infinite Analysis and Analytical Geometry) in December 1929. .

The fascist regime did not forgive its unwavering dedication to the cause of the working class. Constantly persecuted, never abdicated his ideals. He was eventually arrested by PIDE and subsequently dismissed from his post as ISCEF full professor in October 1946.

He was a valued mathematician, pedagogue and tireless lecturer, betting on the democratization of culture as an inseparable process of the struggle for the transformation of society. He had a prominent role in the action of the Portuguese Popular University, of which he was president for consecutive years, helping to raise the education of workers and underlining the. importance of trade union organizations in the process of liberating their members through culture.

He left us a vast and diverse work, of which we highlight: Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics; Vector Calculus and About the application of a group of probability calculation formulas in life insurance theory. He died in 1948 from an incurable heart disease.