Charles Hermite

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Charles Hermite

Birthdate: (78)
Birthplace: Dieuze, Moselle, Lorraine, France
Death: January 14, 1901 (78)
Paris, Paris, Île de France, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Ferdinand Hermite and Madeleine Hermite
Husband of Louise Pauline Arsène Hermite
Father of Isabelle Caroline Ferdinande Forestier and Marie Picard
Brother of Nicolas Victor Ferdinand Hermite; Françoise Joséphine Gerardin; Marie Louise Boppe; Louis Hermite; Victor Hyppolite Hermite and 1 other

Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About Charles Hermite

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Charles Hermite (December 24, 1822 – January 14, 1901) was a French mathematician who did research on number theory, quadratic forms, invariant theory, orthogonal polynomials, elliptic functions, and algebra.

Hermite polynomials, Hermite interpolation, Hermite normal form, Hermitian operators, and cubic Hermite splines are named in his honor. One of his students was Henri Poincaré.

He was the first to prove that e, the base of natural logarithms, is a transcendental number. His methods were later used by Ferdinand von Lindemann to prove that π is transcendental.

In a letter to Thomas Stieltjes in 1893, Hermite famously remarked: "I turn with terror and horror from this lamentable scourge of continuous functions with no derivatives."

"Hermite was born in Dieuze, Moselle on 24 December 1822, [1] with a deformity in his right foot which would affect his gait for the rest of his life. He was the sixth of seven children of Ferdinand Hermite, and his wife Madeleine Lallemand. His father worked in his mother's family drapery business, and also pursued a career as an artist. The drapery business relocated to Nancy in 1828 and so did the family.

He studied at the Collège de Nancy and then, in Paris, at the Collège Henri IV and at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand.[1] Hermite wanted to study at the École Polytechnique and he took a year preparing for the examinations and was tutored by Catalan between 1841 and 1842.

In 1842 Hermite entered the École Polytechnique, where he remained as a student for one year.[1] Hermite was refused the right to continue his studies at the École Polytechnique because of his disability (École Polytechnique is to this day a military academy). He had to fight to regain his place which he won but with strict conditions imposed. Hermite found this unacceptable and decided to leave the École Polytechnique without graduating.

As a boy he read some of the writings of Joseph Louis Lagrange on the solution of numerical equations, and of Carl Gauss on the theory of numbers. In 1842, his first original contribution to mathematics, in which he gave a simple proof of the proposition of Niels Abel concerning the impossibility of obtaining an algebraic solution for the equation of the fifth degree, was published in the "Nouvelles Annales de Mathématiques".

A correspondence with Carl Jacobi, begun in 1843 and continued in 1844, led to the insertion, in the complete edition of Jacobi's works, of two articles by Hermite, one concerning the extension to Abelian functions of one of the theorems of Abel on elliptic functions, and the other concerning the transformation of elliptic functions.

After spending five years working privately towards his degree, in which he befriended eminent mathematicians Joseph Bertrand, Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, and Joseph Liouville, he took and passed the examinations for the baccalauréat, which he was awarded in 1847. He married Joseph Bertrand's sister, Louise Bertrand in 1848.

In 1848, Hermite returned to the École Polytechnique as répétiteur and examinateur d'admission. In 1856 he contracted smallpox. Through the influence of Augustin-Louis Cauchy and of a nun who nursed him, he resumed the practice of his Catholic faith.[3] On 14 July, of that year, he was elected to fill the vacancy created by the death of Jacques Binet in the Académie des Sciences. In 1869, he succeeded Jean-Marie Duhamel as professor of mathematics, both at the École Polytechnique, where he remained until 1876, and in the Faculty of Sciences of Paris, which was a post he occupied until his death. From 1862 to 1873 he was lecturer at the École Normale Supérieure. Upon his seventieth birthday, on the occasion of his jubilee which was celebrated at the Sorbonne under the auspices of an international committee, he was promoted grand officer of the Légion d'honneur. He died in Paris, 14 January 1901, aged 78..."


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Charles Hermite's Timeline

December 24, 1822
Dieuze, Moselle, Lorraine, France
Age 23
Vannes, Morbihan, Brittany, France
Age 37
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
January 14, 1901
Age 78
Paris, Paris, Île de France, France