Séminaire Histoire des mathématiques

organisé par l'équipe GEAR

  • Jeremy Gray

    Jesse Douglas, minimal surfaces, and the first Fields Medals

    17 février 2010 - 14:00Salle de conférences IRMA

    In 1936 the American mathematician Jesse Douglas was awarded one of the first two Fields Medals for his work on the Plateau problem and the theory of minimal surfaces, but today very little is known about him and the functional on which he based his work is still sometimes misunderstood. I will give an account of the Plateau problem, a brief biography of Douglas, and explain the significance of his contributions and the resulting controversies with Radó and Courant.