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René Thom (September 2, 1923 - October 25, 2002) was a French mathematician and founder of the catastrophe theory. He received the Fields Medal in 1958.

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Biography

René Thom was born in Montbéliard, France. He was educated at Lycée Saint-Louis and École Normale Supérieure and went on to teach at Grenoble and Strasbourg.

While he is most known to the public for his development of catastrophe theory between 1968 and 1972, his earlier work was on differential topology. It concerned what are now called Thom spaces, characteristic classes, cobordism theory, and the Thom transversality theorem. He then moved into singularity theory, of which catastrophe theory is just one aspect.

René Thom died on October 25, 2002, in a small town near Paris.

Bibliography

  • "Semiophysics: A Sketch" (1990)
  • Structural Stability and Morphogenesis (1972)

Reference

  • Martin Weil, French Mathematician René Thom Dies, Washington Post, November 17 (2002), p. C10

External links

fr:René Thom it:René Thom pl:René Thom

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