Person: Appell, Paul Emile
Paul Appell was a French mathematician who worked in analysis, geometry and mechanics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Appell rejected the Catholic views of his parents but he retained their strong patriotic French views.
- The Germans captured Strasbourg after a 50-day siege in which Appell suffered greatly.
- Strasbourg was annexed by the Germans and Appell moved to Nancy to become a French citizen and prepare himself to study at university in Paris.
- Appell became a life-long friend of Poincaré while at Nancy.
- Appell now worked in Paris but returned for each vacation to German held Alsace.
- In 1892 Appell was elected to the Académie des Sciences.
- Dreyfus, like Appell, came from Alsace.
- Appell was very much involved with the case.
- When Dreyfus was granted a retrial in 1904, Appell served as an expert on the commission that, by July 1906, had cleared Dreyfus and reversed all previous convictions.
- After the war Appell had the ambition of his life fulfilled when his homeland of Alsace was returned to France.
- Also following the war the League of Nations was set up by the Allies at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and Appell served as secretary-general for the French Association during the 1920s when the League had its headquarters at Geneva.
- Appell's first paper in 1876 was based on projective geometry continuing work of Chasles.
- In 1880 Appell defined a series of functions satisfying the condition that the derivative of the nnnth function is nnn times the (n−1)(n - 1)(n−1)th function.
- These are now called the Appell polynomials.
- There is an obvious question that we must ask ourselves about Appell.
- This is a pretty accurate assessment: Appell was one of the finest problem solvers there has been in mathematics.
Born 27 September 1855, Strasbourg, France. Died 24 October 1930, Paris, 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