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Jacques Salomon Hadamard Edit Profile

Mathematician , scientist , author

Jacques Hadamard was a French mathematician, who was the first to receive the prestigious Feltrinelli Prize for Mathematics. He originated Hadamard product, Hadamard matrix and proved prime number theorem.

Background

Jacques Hadamard was born on December 8, 1865 in Versailles, France. He was the son of Amedee Hadamard, a high school Latin teacher, and Claude-Marie Picard, a piano teacher.

Education

Initially, Jacques was educated at the Lycée Charlemagne and Lycée Louis-le-Grand. He continued his studies and enrolled in the École Normale Supérieure in 1884, graduaring from the educational institution with bachelor’s degree in 1888 and a doctorate in 1892.

Career

Jacques Hadamard started his career as a teacher in 1890 at the Lycée Buffon in Paris, France, a post he held till 1892. The following year, in 1893, Hadamard accepted a teaching position at the Faculté des Sciences at the University of Bordeaux, where he stayed during the next four years.

In 1897 he started to serve as a lecturer at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and held the position until 1909, when he was appointed a professor at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, a position he held till 1937. In addition to this post, he was promoted to the chair of analysis at the École Polytechnique in 1912 and at the École Centrale Paris in 1920.

During the period from 1920 to 1937 Jacques also worked as a professor at the Collège de France.

The scientist visited the Soviet Union in 1930 and 1934 and China in 1936 at the invitation of Soviet and Chinese mathematicians.

Jacques stayed in France at the beginning of the Second World War. Later, in 1940, he escaped to southern France.

In 1941 the scientist was appointed a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York. Some time later, he moved to London and when the war ended, Hadamard came back to France.

The scientist wrote several textbooks on a variety of mathematical subjects, including one which explained a mathematician’s thought processes.

Achievements

  • Widely considered the preeminent French mathematician of the twentieth century, Jacques Hadamard influenced many fields of mathematics. Although an analyst and a student of theoretical calculus by training, he influenced topology, number theory and even psychology. His work on defining functions won him the Grand Prix of the Academie des Sciences early in his career, and his proof of the prime number theorem solidified his importance in the mathematical world.

    His work on the partial differential equations of mathematical physics was of especial importance.

Religion

Hadamard professed to be an atheist in his religion.

Politics

Hadamard was active in the struggle for human rights, serving as a member of the central committee of the Ligue des Droits de l’Homme for sixty years. After the Dreyfus affair, which involved him personally because his second cousin Lucie was the wife of Dreyfus, Hadamard became politically active and a staunch supporter of Jewish causes.

Views

Quotations: "To parents who despair because their children are unable to master the first problems in arithmetic I can dedicate my examples. For, in arithmetic, until the seventh grade I was last or nearly last."

Membership

  • French Academy of Sciences

    French Academy of Sciences , France

    1916

  • Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

    foreign member

    Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences , Netherlands

    1920

Connections

Jacques married Louise-Anna Trenel in 1892. The couple had five children.

father:
Amedee Hadamard - teacher

mother:
Claude-Marie Picard - teacher

wife:
Louise-Anna Trenel