Person: Libermann, Paulette
Paulette Libermann was a French mathematician who survived the terrors of World War II and made important contributions to differential geometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Paulette attended the Lycée Lamartine, a school for girls in the rue du Faubourg, Poissonnière, Paris.
- However around the time Libermann was a student, the director was Eugénie Cotton (1881-1961), a physicist with strong left wing views, and she wanted to make the École Sèvres educate women to the same level as the École Normale Supérieure at the Rue d'Ulm trained men.
- Libermann greatly benefited from the reforms brought in by Eugénie Cotton, and she was taught by leading mathematicians such as Élie Cartan, André Lichnerowicz and Jacqueline Ferrand.
- This made it impossible for Libermann to take the examinations for her teaching certificate, but Eugénie Cotton was able to obtain scholarships for three Jewish students to study at the École Sèvres for a fourth session.
- In the autumn of 1944, following the liberation of Paris by the Allies in August, Libermann was able to return to the École Sèvres in Paris and obtain her teaching certificate.
- After the award of her certificate, Libermann was appointed to teach, first at Douai in the north east of France about 30 km south of Lille, then, from the beginning of the 1945, at the High School for Girls in Strasbourg.
- Libermann began publishing research articles several years before completing the work for her thesis.
- At the Kosmann-Libermann seminar, the 'a fortiori' marginalised students of this great mind could express themselves.
- Paulette Libermann was in a good position to understand the meaning of both their work and exclusion.
- Libermann was invited for extended research visits at many top universities.
Born 14 November 1919, Paris, France. Died 10 July 2007, Montrouge, near 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