Person: Herbrand, Jacques
Jacques Herbrand was a French mathematician who died young but made contributions to mathematical logic.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- However, Herbrand had already made major breakthroughs in the topic while an undergraduate so his success in the area was well established.
- In October of the same year Herbrand joined the army for his military service.
- After his spell in the army, Herbrand was awarded a Rockefeller fellowship to allow him to study at various places in Europe.
- From Berlin, Herbrand went to Hamburg where he spent the month of June working with Artin.
- After leaving Göttingen, Herbrand decided on a holiday in the Alps before his intended return to France.
- See the newspaper reports of the accident in the article Herbrand's accident.
- It is incredible how much Herbrand achieved in the short time he had to undertake mathematical research.
- He made contributions to mathematical logic where Herbrand's theorem on the theory of quantifiers appears in his doctoral thesis.
- Herbrand's theorem establishes a link between quantification theory and sentential logic which is important in that it gives a method to test a formula in quantification theory by successively testing formulas for sentential validity.
- Since testing for sentential validity is a mechanical process, Herbrand's theorem is today of major importance in software developed for theorem proving by computer.
- Herbrand also worked on field theory considering abelian extensions of algebraic number fields.
- In the few months on which he worked on this topic, Herbrand published ten papers.
- Herbrand also generalised some of the results by these workers in class field theory as well as proving some important new theorems of his own.
- For more information about Chevalley writings on Herbrand's thought see the article Chevalley on Herbrand.
Born 12 February 1908, Paris, France. Died 27 July 1931, La Bérarde, Isère, 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