Poincaré, Henri

BORN 29 Apr 1854, Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle - DIED 17 Jul 1912, Paris
REAL NAME Poincaré, Jules Henri
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montparnasse Cimetière (division 16)

Henri Poincaré was the son of Leon Poincaré, a professor of Medicine in Nancy. His cousin Raymond Poincaré would be president of France from 1913 to 1920.

His health was weak during his youth and his mother Eugénie Launois (1830-1897) took care of his education. He entered the Lycée in Nancy in 1862 and was excellent in all areas and he won first prizes in the national concours général. He graduated in 1871. During the Franco-Prussian war he served together with his father in an Ambulance Corps.

In 1873 he entered the École Polytechnique and he graduated in 1875. He worked as a mining engineer afterwards, but he also continued his studies at the École des Mines (1875-1878). He was promoted in mathematics under supervision of Charles Hermite in 1879.

He worked as a teacher and started publishing articles. He met Louise Poulin d'Andesi in Caen and married her in 1881. In 1881 he was offered a teaching position at the Sorbonne and he accepted. From 1883 to 1897 he taught mathematics at the École Polytechnique.

In 1881-1882 he developed his qualitative theory of differential equations. In 1887 he was elected into the French Academy of Sciences. In 1899 and in 1904 he attacked the evidence against Dreyfus in the famous Dreyfus trials.

In 1900 he formluated his Poincaré conjecture, stating that every simply connected, closed 3-manifold is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere. In 2002-2003 Grigori Perelman finally proved this conjecture in a series of papers.

In 1906 he became the president of the Academy of Sciences and in 1909 he was elected into the Académie française. After surgery for hi prostate in 1912 he died from an embolism in Paris in 1912.

Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909


The grave of Henri Poincaré at the Cimetière Montparnasse, Paris.
Picture by Androom (18 Feb 2016)


The grave of Henri Poincaré at the Cimetière Montparnasse, Paris.
Picture by Androom (18 Feb 2016)


Polgar, Alfred

Published: 17 Jun 2017
Last update: 17 Jun 2017