Person: Wavre, Rolin
Rolin Wavre was a Swiss mathematician who worked on logic and the philosophy of mathematics as well as on geology and astronomy.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- We note from this data that Rolin's eldest sibling was 16 years old when he was born and the youngest of his siblings was 8 years old.
- William Wavre was involved with the archaeological dig of La Tène, which lies on Lake Neuchâtel, where the many finds appear to be associated with an army defeated around 210 B.C. The 'Commission des fouilles de La Tène' was created and William Wavre directed excavations at La Tène from 1907 until his death two years later.
- Rolin Wavre studied at the Gymnasium in Neuchâtel where he was enthusiastic for mathematics and science, topics in which he excelled.
- In 1917 Gustave Juvet (1896-1936), a mathematician and philosopher from Neuchâtel who knew Wavre well, arrived in Paris to study at the Sorbonne.
- Wavre had already spent a year in Paris and introduced Juvet into Parisian scientific circles.
- Wavre graduated in 1918 with a diploma of licencié ès sciences.
- After graduating from Paris, Wavre returned to Switzerland where he undertook research for his doctorate at the University of Geneva.
- Wavre was appointed as an extraordinary professor of differential and integral calculus and rational mechanics on 18 July 1922.
- Rolin Wavre was sitting with his friends Jean de la Harpe, Jean Piaget and Leon Bopp near the wall facing the lake.
- His friend Jean de la Harpe (1892-1947) was a philosopher who, like Wavre, had been taught by Arnold Reymond and Léon Brunschvicg.
- Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a psychologist who had, like Wavre, been born in Neuchâtel.
- Wavre became an ordinary professor of mathematics at the University of Geneva on 11 July 1934.
- It is not difficult to see how the questions that Wavre considered in this paper came to interest him since he had been taught by Arnold Reymond and Léon Brunschvicg, two outstanding teachers of the philosophy of mathematics.
- From the evidence we have from Wavre's papers, for which we gave titles above, and this work on the foundations of mathematics we might suppose that he is a pure mathematician with broad interests.
- In his paper on continental drift, Wavre shows that a hypothesis put forward by Alfred Wegener that the drift is caused by the force created by the Earth's rotation cannot be correct since the force from the Earth's rotation is extremely weak, and certainly not sufficient to bring about the formation of great mountain ranges.
- Wavre was certainly friendly with another early believer in continental drift, namely Émile Argand (1879-1940), a Swiss geologist who founded the Geological Institute in Neuchâtel.
- There were other areas to which Wavre contributed major works, namely astronomy and mathematical physics.
- Here he proved a fundamental theorem which today is known as the Poincaré-Wavre theorem.
- Wavre was a plenary speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Zurich from 5 September to 12 September 1932.
- Should we see in these remarks the reason for the reservation of Wavre with regard to the problems of relativity?
- In 1948 Wavre, however published the book L'imagination du réel.
Born 25 March 1896, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Died 9 December 1949, Geneva, Switzerland.
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive