Camille Jordan

CAMILLE JORDAN was born into a well-to-do family on January 5, 1838, in Lyons, France. Like his father, he graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique and became an engineer. Nearly all of his 120 research papers in mathematics were written before his retirement from engineering in 1885. From 1873 until 1912, Jordan taught simultaneously at the the Ecole Polytechnique and at the College of France.

In the great France tradition, Jordan was a universal mathematician who published in nearly every branch of mathematics. Among the concepts named after him are the Jordan canonical form in matrix theory, the Jordan curve theorem from topology, the Jordan-Holder theorem from group theory, and Jordan algebras. His classic book Traite des Substitutions, published in 1870, was the first to be devoted solely to group theory and its applications to other branches of mathematics. This book provided the first clear and complete account of the theory invented by Galois to determine which polynomials are solvable by radicals, and it was the first major investigation of invinite groups. In the book, Jordan coined the word Abelian to describe commutative groups and, although Galois had introduced the term group, it was through the influence of Jordan’s book that term became standard.

Another book that had great influence and set a new standard for rigor was his Cours d’analyse. This book gave the first clear definitions of the notations of volume and multiple integral. It also gave conditions under which a multiple integral can be evaluated by successive integrations. Nearly 100 years after this book appeared, the distinguished mathematician and mathematical historian B.L. van der Waerden wrote “ For me, every single chapter of the Cours d’analyse is  a pleasure to read.” Jordan died in Paris on January 22, 1922.

(Sumber: Joseph A. Gallian 4th ed)


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