Jules Houël (1823-1886) et la circulation des mathématiques dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle : les réseaux français et européens d’un universitaire de province

Abstract : Jules Houël (1823-1886) was a French mathematician and astronomer, issued from an old Protestant family. At the end of his studies at École normale in 1846, he began an eventful career of highschool teacher. In 1855, he obtained a doctorate degree in which he applied the Le Verrier’s method of disruptive functions to Jupiter, and from 1859, he taught differential and integral calculus at the Faculté des sciences in Bordeaux. As early as 1861, he gave up his astronomical research, so that his later publications were essentialy teaching treatises or translations. He had the particularlity to be multilingual and to have a great power of working. We show how he managed to create « important » scientific networks in Europe, which allowed him to circulate certain Theories through publications or/and correspondences, which themselves provided those networks. First two networks correspond to a structure, that of Société des sciences physiques et naturelles de Bordeaux from 1866, and that of Bulletin des sciences mathématiques et astronomiques in the years 1870-1883. Other networks are linked to a mathematical theme or/and a geographical area. We present two European networks where Houël played a leading role : that of his Italian correspondents in connection with foundations of geometry in 1867-1870, and that of his Scandinavian correspondents in relation to the theory of elliptic functions in the years 1870-1885. We also show how those networks are interconnected and the Houël’ s special interests in each of his networks.
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Contributor : François Plantade <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 26, 2018 - 11:07:50 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 25, 2019 - 4:52:06 PM
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François Plantade. Jules Houël (1823-1886) et la circulation des mathématiques dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle : les réseaux français et européens d’un universitaire de province. Histoire et perspectives sur les mathématiques [math.HO]. Université de Nantes, 2018. Français. ⟨tel-01935670⟩

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