Person: Servois, François Joseph
François-Joseph Servois was a French mathematician who worked on projective geometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Servois's first intention was to join the priesthood and he began by following this aim and was ordained at Besançon.
- Servois soon changed his mind about following a career in the Church, and left in 1793 to join the army.
- There were numerous military campaigns by the French army shortly after this and Servois was in the thick of the action serving as a staff officer.
- However, he had a great love of mathematics and while on the military campaigns Servois spent all his free time studying.
- Legendre realised that Servois had considerable mathematical talents and he supported a move to have him appointed to the artillery school of Besançon as professor of mathematics.
- Appointed to this post in July 1801, Servois went on to hold similar positions over the next few years.
- In comparison with his earlier appointments, Servois spent quite a while in Metz at the artillery school, remaining there until 1808.
- Servois was appointed as curator in 1816 and he held this post until he retired in 1827.
- After he retired Servois returned to his home town of Mont-de-Laval where he lived for nearly twenty further years.
- Servois worked in projective geometry, functional equations and complex numbers.
- Servois introduced the terms "commutative" and "distributive" in this paper describing properties of operators, and he also gave some examples of noncommutativity.
- Servois was critical of Argand's geometric interpretation of the complex numbers.
Born 19 July 1768, Mont-de-Laval (N of Morteau), Doubs, France. Died 17 April 1847, Mont-de-Laval, Doubs, 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