Maurice Fréchet: Mathematics, the abstract and the concrete

International conference

Institut Henri Poincaré, Paris

9-11 October 2023

The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Maurice Fréchet (1878-1973) and the present conference is the first to be organized about this hyper-active character who was one of the most influential French scientists of the 20th century. The author of major discoveries in analysis, notably in topology and integration theory, Fréchet was also a pioneer of modern probability and statistics to which he made fundamental contributions. He was also a great organizer of the mathematical life of his time, in particular at the University of Strasbourg after 1919 and then in Paris, at the Institut Henri Poincaré, where Borel installed him as a project leader from the opening in 1928. But Fréchet was also concerned with other aspects of intellectual life: important epistemological reflections, a leading role in the setting up of new institutions (the CNRS, the AFNOR, etc.) and also a very strong commitment to the development of Esperanto, of which he was a passionate promoter. In addition to all this, he was a polyglot traveller who travelled the world for six decades and created an impressive network around him. This three-day conference will attempt to present different elements of this rich life and abundant production.

Organization : Frédéric Jaëck (Aix-Marseille) and Laurent Mazliak (Sorbonne-Université, Paris)

Conference sponsored by: ISUP, Fondation Cournot, Pascal Remy, IHP, Laboratoire SPHERE, LPSM Sorbonne Université, SFdS, CNRS GDR Histoire des mathématiques, Aix-Marseille Université