Person: Dixmier, Jacques
Jacques Dixmier is a French mathematician who worked on C*-algebras and other operator algebras.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- It was in Versailles that Jacques studied for his baccalaureate.
- After his baccalaureate, Dixmier remained in Versailles to prepare for his university studies in mathematics.
- In October 1942 Dixmier entered the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.
- In his second year at the École Normale, 1943-44, Dixmier was again taught by Henri Cartan.
- Dixmier joined the resistance which was a dangerous thing to do.
- During the vacation between Dixmier's second and third years the war came to an end.
- The next day they released the students, including Dixmier, and Mrs Bruhat and Mrs Baillou but took Georges Bruhat and Jean Baillou prisoner.
- Dixmier's third year of study was spent working towards the agrégation where the aim was to qualify students to teach.
- At this point the three year degree was changed into a four year degree but, although technically still at the École Normale, Dixmier worked at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
- Although both had been students at the École Normale Supérieure, Godement was two years older than Dixmier and they had not known each other at that time.
- However, Godement now was a great help to Dixmier, telling him about unitary representations and showing him results on this topic which he had proved but had not published.
- Living in Paris and working in Toulouse was certainly not an ideal thing for anyone to do, so Dixmier decided that, since Dijon was much closer to Paris, he would apply for the position there.
- Dixmier was on the faculty at Dijon from 1949 to 1955 when he was nominated for a position at the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris.
- Dixmier wrote some excellent books.
- These books give a good indication of the areas to which Dixmier made important contributions, namely operator algebras, von Neumann algebras, C*-algebras and unitary representation theory.
- MathSciNet lists 187 published items for Dixmier (up to 2014).
- When writing books, Dixmier liked to follow the style of Bourbaki but when he lectured his style was very different from that of his colleagues.
- In 1984 Dixmier reached the age of 60 and, since a new law had been passed making it possible to retire at that age, Dixmier chose to retire but continued to undertake research at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques at Bures-sur-Yvette.
- Dixmier received several prestigious prizes and medals for his outstanding contributions.
- Author of books used for decades in France as well as Russia and the United States, Jacques Dixmier has been for thirty years at the University Pierre and Marie Curie a generous head of the school, who has promoted theses that are landmarks.
Born 1 January 1924, Saint-Étienne, 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