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Tag: IHP

Map of the Parisian mathematical scene 1933-39

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Michele Audin has written a book on the history of the Julia seminar (hat tip +Chandan Dalawat via Google+).

The “Julia Seminar” was organised between 1933 and 1939, on monday afternoons, in the Darboux lecture hall of the Institut Henri Poincare.

After good German tradition, the talks were followed by tea, “aimablement servi par Mmes Dubreil et Chevalley”.

A perhaps surprising discovery Audin made is that the public was expected to pay an attendance fee of 50 Frs. (approx. 32 Euros, today), per year. Fortunately, this included tea…

The annex of the book contains the lists of all people who have paid their dues, together with their home addresses.

The map above contains most of these people, provided they had a Parisian address. For example, Julia himself lived in Versailles, so is not included.

As are several of the first generation Bourbakis: Dieudonne lived in Rennes, Henri Cartan and Andre Weil in Strasbourg, Delsarte in Nancy, etc.

Still, the lists are a treasure trove of addresses of “les vedettes” (the professors and the people in the Bourbaki-circle) which have green markers on the map, and “les figurants” (often PhD students, or foreign visitors of the IHP), the blue markers.

Several PhD-students gave the Ecole Normale Superieure (btw. note the ‘je suis Charlie’-frontpage of the ENS today jan.9th) in the rue d’Ulm as their address, so after a few of them I gave up adding others.

Further, some people changed houses over this period. I will add these addresses later on.

The southern cluster of markers on Boulevard Jourdan follows from the fact that the university had a number of apartment blocks there for professors and visitors (hat tip Liliane Beaulieu).

A Who’s Who at the Julia seminar can be found in Audin’s book (pages 154-167).

Reference:

Michele Audin : “Le seminaire de mathematiques 1933-1939, premiere partie: l’histoire”

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European mathematics in 1927

Here’s a map of the (major) mathematical centers in Europe (in 1927), made for the Rockefeller Foundation.



Support by the Rockefeller foundation was important for European Mathematics between the two world wars. They supported the erection of the Mathematical Institute in Goettingen between 1926-1929 and creation of the Institut Henri Poincare in Paris at about the same time.

Careers of people such as Stefan Banach, Bartel van der Waerden and Andre Weil benefitted hugely from becoming fellows of the Rockefeller-funded International Educational Board in the 20ties.

The map itself shows that there were three major centers at the time: Goettingen, Paris and Rome (followed by Berlin and Oxford, at a distance).

Also the distribution by topics (the pie-charts per university) is interesting: predominantly Analysis (red) with a fair share of Geometry (yellow), Number Theory (green) and Applied Mathematics (blue). Philosophy (black) was even more important than Algebra (orange) which existed only in Goettingen (Noether, van der Waerden) and Berlin.

I’d love to see a similar map for 2014…

A larger version of the map can be found here.

There’s a corresponding map for the USA here.

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