**Claude Berge **was a French mathematician who worked in combinatorics and graph theory.

- André Berge (1902-1995) was a physician and psychoanalyst who, in addition to his professional work, had published several novels.
- Claude attended the École des Roches near Verneuil-sur-Avre about 110 km west of Paris.
- At this stage in his life Claude was unsure about the topic in which he should specialise.
- Berge examined properties of such games with a thorough analysis.
- In 1952, before the award of his doctorate, Berge was appointed as a research assistant at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
- Returning to France from the United States, Berge took up the position on Director of research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique.
- A computer search through Mathematical Reviews changed my mind: with each of these two books, Claude left a lasting mark on the subject.
- The theorem - first stated, and proved by C Berge - gives conditions under which ...".
- It is amusing to speculate that, just as Claude Berge is a combinatorist to many of us combinatorists, he may be a game theorist to some game theorists and he may be a topologist to some economists.
- For example, Berge wrote an introductory article on graph theory which appeared in the American Mathematical Monthly in 1964.
- Among the non-Hungarians at the meeting were Arthur Harold Stone (1916-2000), Cedric Austen Bardell Smith (1917-2002), Bill Tutte and Berge.
- In 1960 Berge attended a conference at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in Halle am Saale, Germany.
- Also in 1960 Berge became a founder member of Oulipo, an organisation which was particularly well suited to combining two of Berge's interests, namely mathematics and literature.
- In 1994 Berge wrote a 'mathematical' murder mystery for Oulipo.
- Another of Berge's interests was in art and sculpture.
- In this stream Claude Berge's sculptures catch our attention, with their authenticity and honesty.
- Berge catches again something general and essential, as he did in his mathematics.
- After this excursion into Berge's interests outside mathematics, we should return to his mathematical contributions.
- Berge continued to write important books: Principes de combinatoire Ⓣ(Combinatorial principles) (1968), Graphes et hypergraphes Ⓣ(Graphs and hypergraphs) (1970), Introduction à la théorie des hypergraphes Ⓣ(Introduction to the theory of hypergraphs) (1973), Fractional graph theory (1978), Graphes Ⓣ(Graphs) (1983), and Hypergraphes Ⓣ(Hypergraphs).
- The first of these, Principes de combinatoire Ⓣ(Combinatorial principles), was essentially lecture notes of a course Berge gave at the Faculty of Science in Paris in 1967-68.
- Introduction à la théorie des hypergraphes Ⓣ(Introduction to the theory of hypergraphs) was also notes from a lecture course, this time a course given by Berge at the University of Montreal in the summer of 1971.
- Berge continued to revise and update the text and the last two books mentioned above, namely Graphes Ⓣ(Graphs) (1983) and Hypergraphes Ⓣ(Hyper-graphs).
- Berge has received many honours for his mathematical contributions including the EURO Gold Medal from the Association of European Operational Research Societies in 1989 and the Euler Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and Its Applications in 1995 (awarded jointly with Ron Graham).
- The strong perfect graph conjecture was settled just before Berge's death.
- Berge was very much a product of the old school and 'clean' and 'pretty' proofs mattered to him almost as much as the proof itself.
- A visit to the Berge residence would find him curled up on a sofa, smoking his favourite pipe and gazing intently and lovingly at an 'objet d'art'.
- Being one of Berge's foreign students in France, it was my privilege to be invited to his house for Christmas dinners.

Born 5 June 1926, Paris, France. Died 30 June 2002, Paris, France.

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**O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive