Person: Français (2), Jacques
Jacques Français was a French mathematician who published a version of Argand's work on complex numbers.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Jacques entered the College at Strasbourg and excelled in his studies there.
- In September 1794 Jacques Français became an assistant in the engineering corps.
- In the autumn of 1797, when François Français left the army, Jacques Français entered the École Polytechnique and in the spring of the next year he moved to the École du Génie.
- We discuss below the mathematics which Jacques Français produced at this time due mainly to the encouragement of Malus.
- By 1810 Français had reached the position of first in command at the staff headquarters of the École d'Application in Metz and, in 1811, he was appointed professor of military art in Metz.
- The first mathematics memoir which Jacques Français seems to have written was submitted in 1800.
- In September 1813 Français published a work in which he gave a geometric representation of complex numbers with interesting applications.
- This was based on Argand's paper which had been sent, without disclosing the name of the author, by Legendre to François Français.
- This changed after Français' paper since a vigorous discussion between Français, Argand and Servois took place in Gergonne's Journal.
- In this argument Français and Argand believed in the validity of the geometric representation, while Servois argued that complex numbers must be handled using pure algebra.
- After this burst of mathematical activity, Français appears to have given up mathematics at the end of 1815.
Born 20 June 1775, Saverne, Bas-Rhin, France. Died 9 March 1833, Metz, France.
View full biography at MacTutor
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive