an:01183888
Zbl 0907.01040
Dugac, Pierre
Jean Dieudonn??: Universal mathematician
FR
Plus de Lumi??re. Sceaux: ??ditions Jacques Gabay. iv, 157 p. (1995).
1995
b
01A70 01A60
Dieudonn?? as historian; French mathematics
This is a short biography of the universal (``complet'') French mathematician and cofounder of Bourbaki, Jean Dieudonn?? (1906-1992), by his colleague and friend, the historian of mathematics Pierre Dugac. Partly following Dieudonn??'s own stipulations in his last will, Dugac is short on Dieudonn??'s mathematical contributions, stressing his work on complete topological spaces and Lie groups. Instead, Dugac focuses on Dieudonn??'s work as a historian of mathematics, emphasizing the importance of his books on the `History of functional analysis' (1981; Zbl 0478.46001) and the `History of algebraic and differential topology 1900-1960' (1989; Zbl 0673.55002). Dugac's booklet uses extensive quotations from Dieudonn??'s articles, review papers and unpublished letters, thereby giving only sparse commentary by the author, mostly on related matters from the history of mathematics. Dugac shows Dieudonn??'s predilection for ``pure'' mathematics and aesthetic considerations, as well as the r??le that generalized intuition played in his work.
As to Dieudonn??'s philosophical and political opinions, Dugac gives examples of Dieudonn??'s French patriotism in mathematics (as opposed to allegedly ``unmotivated'' American work of the 1950s), of Dieudonn??'s resentments against certain work in the foundations (nonstandard analysis) and of Dieudonn??s's philosophical and religious indifferentism.
On the example of Dieudonn??'s biography the reader gains also valuable insights into the one-sidedness of French mathematics in the 1920s, which was strong in analysis but had to learn algebra from the Germans and topology from the Russians and the Polish. The booklet is concluded by a collection of portraits of Dieudonn??, his family and his collaborators.
R.Siegmund-Schultze (Berlin)
Zbl 0478.46001; Zbl 0673.55002