“If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, it would not be worth living.” –Henri Poincare Jules Henri Poincare was a famous French mathematician born in Nancy, France on April 29, 1854. He is known for contributing to works in pure and applied mathematics, mathematical physics, as well as celestial mathematics. He founded the mathematical theory of dynamical systems, or qualitative dynamics and formulated the Poincare conjecture that is one of the most famous mathematical problems today. Some people even credit him as a co-discover of the theory of relativity along with Einstein and Lorenz. In 1899 Poincare won the competition that King Oscar (of Sweden) had stated where he wanted someone to determine the stability of the solar system. From this Poincare taking into account Newton’s law of gravitation found that mathematical chaos was hidden in Newton’s equation for three or more bodies. From his calculations and observation he was able to describe basic properties of deterministic chaos which refers to the world of dynamics. Poincare’s work in qualitative methods led him to the study of topology, where he created most of the key concepts this includes the fundamental group and basic ideas homology theory. This culminated with his Poincare conjecture statement in 1904. Poincare was very important to the advancement in mathematics, but sadly died before the outbreak of WWII at the age of 58 on July 17, 1912.
"Henri Poincare." Exploratorium: the Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception. The Exploratorium, 1966. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. <http://www.exploratorium.edu/complexity/CompLexicon/poincare.html>. "HENRI POINCARE." United States Naval Academy | Home Page. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. <http://www.usna.edu/Users/math/meh/poincare.html>.