Person: Cholesky, Andre-Louis
André-Louis Cholesky was a French military officer and mathematician who devised a clever method of dealing with geodesic measurements.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Cholesky entered l'École Polytechnique on 15 October 1895 being placed 88th out of 223 entrant students in that year.
- From January to June 1902, Cholesky carried out a mission in Tunisia, then he was sent on a second mission from November 1902 to May 1903.
- On 31 December 1903 Cholesky began a period of service in Algeria.
- To solve the condition equations in the method of least squares, Cholesky invented a very ingenious computational procedure which immediately proved extremely useful: it is now known as the Method of Cholesky and we describe it below.
- Cholesky was sent to Crete on 7 November 1907 as one of the three officers assigned to carry out the task.
- After his fellow officers were dispatched to other duties, Cholesky carried out a triangulation as well as making a topographical survey of the French and British sectors.
- Political events, however, prevented land surveys being carried out and Cholesky left Crete on 25 June 1908.
- Similar work had to be carried out in Morocco and Cholesky devised methods to allow the work to be undertaken more quickly yet still retaining the necessary accuracy.
- On 25 May 1913, Cholesky was assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and he was named head of Topographical Service of the Regency of Tunis.
- Cholesky died from wounds received on the battle field on 31 August 1918 at 5 o'clock in the morning in the North of France.
- After his death one of his fellow officers, Commandant Benoit, published Cholesky's method of computing solutions to the normal equations for some least squares data fitting problems in Note sur une méthode de resolution des équations normales provenant de l'application de la méthode des moindres carrés à un système d'équations lineaires en nombre inferieure à celui des inconnues.
- Application de la méthode à la resolution d'un système defini d'équations lineaires (Procede du Commandant Cholesky) Ⓣ(Note on a method for resolution of the normal equations from the application of the method of least squares to a linear system of equations in a lower number of unknowns.
- Application of the method to the resolution of a defined system of linear equations (following Cholesky)), published in the Bulletin géodesique in 1924.
Born 15 October 1875, Montguyon, Charentes Maritime, France. Died 31 August 1918, North 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