Person: Julia, Gaston Maurice
Julia was one of the forefathers of modern dynamical systems theory and is best remembered for what is now called the Julia set.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Gaston became interested in mathematics and music when he was young.
- She gave young Gaston certain principles which he followed throughout his life, in particular to always aim at being top in everything he did.
- Gaston studied with the Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes (Brothers of the Christian Schools) from the age of seven.
- His outstanding abilities were quickly spotted, and his teachers encouraged Gaston's parents to try to get a scholarship to allow him to study at high school.
- Gaston entered the Lycée in Oran, and his parents wanted him to begin his studies in grade 5.
- However, the teachers pointed out that pupils in that grade had already studied German for one year while Gaston had no knowledge of the language.
- However, Gaston requested that they give him a month in the class to prove that he could catch up.
- Julia won a scholarship which allowed him to go to Paris and spend the year 1910-11 at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly where he took classes in higher mathematics.
- Despite his outstanding abilities, Julia did not find life easy.
- Events had been moving quickly and Julia received his call up papers one day later.
- Accordingly, on 25 January they launched a strong attack on the French lines where Julia and his men had just arrived.
- Julia's injury was an extremely painful one and many unsuccessful operations were carried out in an attempt to repair the damage.
- When only 25 years of age, Julia published his 199 page masterpiece Mémoire sur l'iteration des fonctions rationelles Ⓣ(Memoir on the iteration of rational functions) which made him famous in the mathematics centres of his day.
- Seminars were organised in Berlin in 1925 to study Julia's work on iteration and participants included Richard Brauer, Heinz Hopf and Kurt Reidemeister.
- H Cremer produced an essay on his work which included the first visualisation of a Julia set.
- However, Julia was very active mathematically over a wide range of different topics which is perhaps best summarised by looking briefly at the six volumes of his collected works which were published between 1968 and 1970 edited by Jacques Dixmier and Michel Hervé.
- Of course the volumes were published before Julia's death so he was able to write the Preface to the volumes himself.
- In addition to the Preface, Volume 1 contains a list of Julia's 232 publications from 1913 to 1965.
- Volume 6 contains Julia's miscellaneous writings.
- Further books by Julia include L'espace hilbertien Ⓣ(Hilbert space) (1949) and Eléments d'algèbre Ⓣ(Elements of algebra) (1959).
- Julia received many honours for his outstanding mathematical contributions.
Born 3 February 1893, Sidi bel Abbès, Algeria. Died 19 March 1978, Paris, France.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
African, Analysis, Geometry, Origin Algeria
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive