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University of Porto Famous Alumni

Joaquim Torquato Álvares Ribeiro

Retrato de Joaquim Torquato Álvares Ribeiro / Portrait of Joaquim Torquato Álvares Ribeiro Joaquim Torquato Álvares Ribeiro
Mathematician and Professor in Polytechnic Academy of Porto

Joaquim Torquato Álvares Ribeiro, son of Álvares Ribeiro and of Maria Máxima Delfina da Silva, was born in Rua de S. Miguel, in the parish of Vitória, Porto, on 26 February 1803.

He studied at the Royal Academy of Maritime and Trade Affairs, where he received several awards in Mathematics and Trade between 1820 and 1825. There, he also did his resit course which consisted in attending, simultaneously, the 2nd and 3rd years of Mathematics with a "dissertation and several theses from every branch of the course" [SANTOS, Cândido dos – Universidade do Porto: Raízes e Memória da Instituição. Porto, Universidade do Porto, 1996, pp.109, 111-113, 131 e 169.] . Besides the resit exam, there was also a Mathematics test. These tests were imposed by the charter of 16 August 1825 and took place only once, in 1830. After being approved, Álvares Ribeiro became qualified as a candidate for teaching Mathematics.

In 1835 he was appointed to the position of Professor of the 1st Mathematics subject by decree of 30 January and the royal charter of 16 February of the same year. In the following year, by the decree of 19 October, he was discharged for refusing to take the oath to the Constitution of 1822 proclaimed by the September Revolution.

In 1840, with the 19 October law, Joaquim Álvares Ribeiro became an attaché to Polytechnic Academy of Porto, with half the salary. In 1844, by the decree-law of 12 November and royal charter of 11 December, he was appointed Professor of the 5th subject (Astronomy and Geodesy) which he taught until 1868.

Álvares Ribeiro was present in important moments of the Polytechnic Academy of Porto. In 1846, he was commissioned to deliver the speech for the official opening of that academic year ("Speech recited in Polytechnic Academy of Porto for the opening of the academic year of 1846-1847 by the professor of the 5th subject Joaquim Torcato Álvares Ribeiro"). In 1852, he received Queen Maria II, who was visiting the Academy, and reminded her of the need for practical laboratories and of the damage caused by the suspension of the construction of the building, because the endowment made by D. João VI had been taken over by the National Treasure. He was responsible for accompanying the visit of D. Luís on 30 November 1865. Meanwhile, in 1854, at the time of the submission of a draft law to the House of Representatives proposing the reform of Higher Education schools and, in particular, the elimination of the Academy, Álvares Ribeiro was one of the drafters of the response given by the Academic Board which was designated "Brief Note about the Public Higher Education in Porto and in the Northern Provinces".

In the Academy, besides teaching, he assumed the role of interim director, nominated on 30 November 1864, and although he was recommended as effective director in August 1868, he never took up office.

Álvares Ribeiro was also director of the General Company of Agriculture and Upper Douro Vineyards between 1852 and 1855, member of His Majesty’s Council and a commander of the Order of Christ.

The booklet "The Polytechnic Academy and the ministry of the realm’s regulation of 14 August 1862." (Porto, 1862) was written by him.

He died on 2 November 1868 in Caldas de Vizela where we was resting in a thermal spa.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2011)

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