Person: Lebesgue, Victor Amédée
Victor-Amédée Lebesgue was a French mathematician who worked on number theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Victor Amédée Lebesgue's parents were Simon Pierre Lebesgue (born 8 May 1752) and Marie Catherine Denis (born 8 November 1750 in Amblainville, Oise).
- Victor Amédée began his schooling at the Lycée in Amiens and there he met and became friends with Charles Alexandre (born 19 February 1797 in Amiens; died 6 June 1870 in Paris).
- Their interests were very different, with Lebesgue more interested in mathematics while Alexandre was interested in ancient languages.
- However, many years later Alexandre played a role in helping Lebesgue with his career.
- After leaving the Lycée in Amiens, Lebesgue completed his studies at the Collège de Beauvais in Paris in 1809.
- Once he had completed his schooling, Lebesgue was required to undertake military service and he enlisted in the army at the end of 1809.
- After serving for one year, Lebesgue decided he wanted to return to civilian life and the only way to do that was via the 'remplacement militaire' system.
- After graduating, Lebesgue was appointed as a master at the Lycée at Reims.
- At this stage in his career Lebesgue was helped by his friend Charles Alexandre who was head of the Royal Bourbon College and later, in 1840, was appointed inspector-general of studies in place of M Poullet-Delise who retired at this time.
- Alexandre asked Poisson if he could arrange a position for Lebesgue, giving him an excellent recommendation.
- Poisson arranged for Lebesgue to obtain a position as a lecturer at the Royal College of Nantes, then in the following year as professor at the college of Epinal, where he remained for two years.
- Lebesgue had obtained leave from his position to allow him to follow the two year course.
- Lebesgue was very active in research and published many papers.
- He corresponded with Poisson, who was very impressed by the quality and depth of Lebesgue's work.
- A substitute for Cournot at Grenoble was required and Lebesgue was appointed to this position.
- The Faculty of Sciences at Bordeaux was organized at the end of 1838, and Lebesgue was called upon to occupy the Chair of Pure Mathematics.
- A new vacancy occurred in 1847 and Lebesgue was unanimously elected at the meeting which took place on 8 February 1847.
- Prouhet assisted Lebesgue in the preparation of his book Exercices d'Analyse numérique.
- However, prince Alphonse de Polignac (1826-1863), himself a number theorist, supported the publication of Lebesgue's second book Introduction à la Théorie des Nombres Ⓣ(Introduction to number theory) (Mallet-Bachelier, Paris, 1862).
- Although Lebesgue had only spent 20 years as professor at Bordeaux, nevertheless by the time he retired in 1858 he had published 80 mathematics articles.
- After retiring from Bordeaux, Lebesgue returned to Paris where he spent the years from 1858 to 1861 working on the two books we have just mentioned.
- Despite the fact that he was working on his books during these years in Paris, Lebesgue still managed to publish three papers in 1858, seven papers in 1859, and three papers in 1860.
- Lebesgue and Hoüel collaborated and Hoüel did much to help Lebesgue in preparing Tables diverses pour la Décomposition des Nombres en leurs Facteurs premiers Ⓣ(Various tables for the decomposition of Numbers into their prime factors) (Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1864).
- After two years at Bordeaux, when he was working on his Tables, Lebesgue again went to Paris but after only a short stay he again returned to south west France, living in Bordeaux.
Born 2 October 1791, Grandvilliers, Oise, France. Died 10 June 1875, Bordeaux, Gironde, France.
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