The Bruce Medalists

 

  portrait Photo courtesy Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago
Jules Henri Poincaré
29 April 1854 1911 Bruce Medalist 17 July 1912

Henri Poincaré was educated at l'École Polytechnique and l'École des Mines. He was professor of mathematics at the University of Paris from 1881 to 1912. One of the greatest mathematicians of all time, he made significant advances in function theory, algebraic functions, algebraic geometry, algebra, number theory, algebraic topology, and above all, differential equations. He revolutionized celestial mechanics, inaugurating a rigorous treatment and initiating studies of the stability of the solar system. He determined the shape of a rotating fluid subject only to gravity. He wrote extensively on the philosophy of science, worked in mathematical physics, and developed many of the ideas and equations of the special theory of relativity independently of Albert Einstein and Hendrik A. Lorentz. Poincaré is often called the father of chaos theory. He wrote nearly 500 papers and numerous books, many of them popular and a substantial number still in print.

Presentation of Bruce medal
Morse, Fremont, PASP 23, 73-84 (1911).

Other awards
Royal Astronomical Society, Gold medal, 1900, presented by G.H. Darwin, MNRAS 60, 406-415 (1900).
Royal Society of London, Sylvester Medal, 1901.

Some offices held
Académie des Sciences, President, 1906.

Biographical materials
l’Académie française [in French].
Anonymous, “Scientific Worthies,” Nature 90, 353-356 (1912).
Appell, P., Henri Poincaré (Paris, 1925) [in French].
Dantzig, Tobias, Henri Poincaré (Scribner’s, NY, 1954).
Dieudonné, Jean, Dictionary of Scientific Biography 11, 51-61.
The Exploratorium.
Gray, Jeremy, Henri Poincaré: A Scientific Biography (Princeton Univ. Press, 2013).
Hoffman, Mike, Notable Mathematicians.
Lahanas, M., Physics [includes photo]
Lamontagne, Yann, PlanetMath.org
Le Laboratoire de Philosophie et d’Histoire des Sciences Archives Henri Poincaré, Archives H. Poincaré [Timeline, in French].
Lebon, Ernest, Notice sur Henri Poincaré, in Poincaré, H., Leçons sur les Hypotheses Cosmogoniques, 2nd ed. (Librairie Scientifique A. Hermann & Fils, Paris, 1913)
Lebon, Ernest, Henri Poincaré: Biographie, Bibliographie Analytique des Écrit (GauthierVillars, Paris, 1912).
Mawhin, Jean, “Henri Poincaré. A Life in the Service of Science,” Lecture presented at the Poincaré Symposium in Brussels, 8-9 October 2004.
Murzi, Mauro, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
O’Connor, J.J. & E.F. Robertson, The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive [includes 7 photos].
PlanetMath.org
Resonance Publications,The world of Mathematics
Tenn, Joseph S., “Henri Poincaré: The Ninth Bruce Medalist,” Mercury  20, 4, 111 (1991).
Toulouse, E., Henri Poincaré (Paris, 1910) [in French].
Trachet, Tim, Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (Springer, NY, 2007), pp. 921-22.
University of Maryland
Verhulst, Ferdinand, Henri Poincaré: Impatient Genius (Springer, 2012).
Washington Area Chaos Group.
More biographical materials
And still more

Obituaries
DeLury, Alfred T., JRASC 6, 309-21 (1912).
Lebon, Ernest, PASP 24, 260-65 (1912).
Anonymous, Observatory 35, 309-10.
Sarton, George, Bulletin de la Société belge d’Astronomie XXXIV, 1-11, 37-48 (1913) (pdf).

Portraits
AIP Center for History of Physics
Dibner Library (another)
Hellenica
Le Laboratoire de Philosophie et d’Histoire des Sciences Archives Henri Poincaré, Galerie photographique [a very large collection]
Library of Congress
Miller, Jeff, Images of Mathematicians on Postage Stamps

Named after him
Lunar crater Poincaré
Minor Planet #2021 Poincaré
Université Henri Poincaré
The Poincaré Conjecture

More references

The Bruce Medalists


Please send comments, additions, corrections, and questions to
joe.tenn@sonoma.edu
JST
2015-11-11