Person: Français, François
François Français was one of a pair of French mathematical brothers who worked on partial differential equations.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- In 1789 François became a seminarist, that is a student in an institution for training candidates for the priesthood.
- Political events produced an interlude in Français' career.
- Français joined the government army in May 1793 which was moving to put down the rebellion.
- Français continued to fight with the government forces and as the autumn approached they became a more cohesive force under a single command and heavily defeated the rebel army (by this time numbering around 65000) in October.
- Français, however, left the government army in October and returned to teaching.
- The period of army life must have been attractive to Français for he quickly rejoined the army as an officer and served for a further four years until October 1797 when he was appointed professor of mathematics at the École Centrale du Haut-Rhin in Colmar.
- Français never seemed to be one to stay in any one post for long but this appointment in Colmar lasted longer than any of his others.
- François worked on partial differential equations and his memoir of 1795 on this topic was developed further and presented to the Académie des Sciences in 1797.
- Lacroix praised Français' work and described it as making a major contribution to the study of partial differential equations; however, it was not published.
- Français was friendly with Arbogast and together they worked on the calculus of derivations.
- After Arbogast died in 1803, Français inherited his mathematical papers and continued to work on the calculus of derivations.
- After this Français did work which was praised by Legendre, Lagrange, Lacroix and Biot but submitted no further memoirs during his lifetime.
Born 7 April 1768, Saverne, Bas-Rhin, France. Died 30 October 1810, Mainz, Germany.
View full biography at MacTutor
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive