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Person: Dubreil-Jacotin, Marie-Louise
Marie-Louise Dubreil-Jacotin was a French mathematician who worked in fluid mechanics and abstract algebra. She was the second woman in France to obtain a doctorate in pure mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Marie-Louise took the baccalaureate in elementary mathematics and at this stage encountered a particularly good piece of luck.
- Often one piece of good fortune is balanced by bad fortune and in the case of Marie-Louise's study at the Collège de Chaptal this was exactly what happened.
- But the decree of the ministry published afterwards in the official journal named twenty male students at the top and then Marie-Louise at the head of the Bousiers de licence.
- Paul Dubreil, whom Marie-Louise had met while they both studied at the École Normale Supérieure, had been awarded a Rockefeller scholarship in 1929 and at the time of their marriage was on a European tour which would let him study with the top mathematicians in Germany and Italy.
- At the start of the new academic year 1931-32 Paul Dubreil took up an appointment at the University of Lille and Marie-Louise continued to work on her thesis on fluids but began to take an interest in algebra.
- Dubreil-Jacotin's interests in algebra had now reached the point where she offered it as a subsidiary subject at her oral.
- Dubreil-Jacotin, therefore, accepted a position of research assistant at Rennes.
- Two years later Dubreil-Jacotin was appointed as an assistant lecturer at Rennes.
- Remember too that these were the years of the Second World War which began around the time that Dubreil-Jacotin became an assistant lecturer in Rennes.
- The train that Marie-Louise took each Tuesday was destroyed by a bloody bombing of the Rennes railway station.
- Marie-Louise accepted the risks calmly as part of her job.
- In her memory the Ile de France Yacht Club founded a "Challenge Marie-Louise Dubreil-Jacotin" judged on two contests: a regatta and a bridge tournament.
- Two years later Dubreil-Jacotin was involved in a car accident which did not seem too serious at the time but she died of a heart attack five weeks later.
Born 7 July 1905, Paris, France. Died 19 October 1972, Paris, France.
View full biography at MacTutor
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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