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Mathematical Treasure: Jordan's Pioneering Group Theory

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Camille Jordan (1838-1922) was a French mathematician who was initially trained as an engineer. His interests turned to mathematics and by 1876, he had become Professor of Analysis at the École Polytechnique. Much of his research focused on permutation groups. Jordan’s Treatise on Substitution and Algebraic Equations (1870), is considered a pioneering work in group theory. In this text, Jordan presented a comprehensive discussion of Galois theory and provided the first example of the application of group theory to classify rock crystals.

Jordan discussed his objectives in the “Preface” of the book:


The images above are provided through the courtesy of the Bibliotheque nationale de France via Gallica.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Jordan's Pioneering Group Theory," Convergence (July 2018)