Élie Joseph Cartan (1869 - 1951)

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Birthplace: Dolomieu, Savoie, Rhône-Alpes, France
Death: Died in Paris, Paris, Île de France, France
Occupation: Professor, mathematician
Managed by: Martin Eriksen
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About Élie Joseph Cartan

Élie Joseph Cartan

  • Born: 9 April 1869 in Dolomieu (near Chambéry), Savoie, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • Died: 6 May 1951 in Paris, France
  • Parents: son of Joseph Cartan & Anne Cottaz
  • Married: in 1903 to Marie-Louise Bianconi; 4 children, including mathematician Henri Paul Cartan (1904 - 2008)
  • Occupation: Mathematician

biographical notes

He is certainly one of the most important mathematicians of the first half of the 20th century. Dieudonné writes in [1]:-

Cartan's recognition as a first rate mathematician came to him only in his old age; before 1930 Poincaré and Weyl were probably the only prominent mathematicians who correctly assessed his uncommon powers and depth. This was due partly to his extreme modesty and partly to the fact that in France the main trend of mathematical research after 1900 was in the field of function theory, but chiefly to his extraordinary originality. It was only after 1930 that a younger generation started to explore the rich treasure of ideas and results that lay buried in his papers. Since then his influence has been steadily increasing, and with the exception of Poincaré and Hilbert, probably no one else has done so much to give the mathematics of our day its present shape and viewpoints.

For his outstanding contributions Cartan received many honours, but as Dieudonné explained in the above quote, these did not come until late in career. He received honorary degrees from the University of Liege in 1934, and from Harvard University in 1936. In 1947 he was awarded three honorary degrees from the Free University of Berlin, the University of Bucharest and the Catholic University of Louvain. In the following year he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Pisa. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London on 1 May 1947, the Accademia dei Lincei and the Norwegian Academy. Elected to the French Academy of Sciences on 9 March 1931 he was vice-president of the Academy in 1945 and President in 1946.


  1. http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Cartan.html
  2. Élie Cartan (1869-1951) By Maks Aĭzikovich Akivis, Boris Abramovich Rozenfelʹd
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Élie Joseph Cartan's Timeline

April 9, 1869
Dolomieu, Savoie, Rhône-Alpes, France
Age 33
Lyon, Rhône, Rhone-Alpes, France
July 8, 1904
Age 35
Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France
December 1, 1906
Age 37
Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France
December 19, 1909
Age 40
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
October 12, 1917
Age 48
May 6, 1951
Age 82
Paris, Paris, Île de France, France
Dolomieu, Isere, Rhone-Alpes, France