Andre Weil, a French mathematician, is renowned for his groundbreaking contributions to number theory and algebraic geometry. From a young age, Weil displayed an exceptional talent for mathematics, which was nurtured and encouraged by his family. Throughout his illustrious career, he delved into various mathematical disciplines, including algebra, differential geometry, and topology, showcasing his exceptional genius. Notably, Weil’s most significant accomplishment was uncovering the profound connections between algebraic geometry and number theory. Beyond his mathematical pursuits, Weil possessed a deep appreciation for linguistics and traveled extensively, immersing himself in different cultures and religions. His time in India left a lasting spiritual impact on him. Despite facing imprisonment for neglecting his military duties, Weil’s dedication to mathematics remained unwavering. He served as a professor of mathematics in numerous esteemed universities worldwide, solidifying his status as one of the most brilliant and influential mathematicians of the 20th century.

## Quick Facts

- French Celebrities Born In May Died At Age: 92
- Family: Spouse/Ex-: Éveline, siblings: Simone Weil
- Child Prodigies
- Mathematicians
- Died on: August 6, 1998
- Place of death: Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
- City: Paris
- Education: École Normale Supérieure, University of Paris, Aligarh Muslim University
- Awards: Wolf Prize in Mathematics (1979), Barnard Medal for Meritorious Service to Science (1980), Kyoto Prize (1994), Fellow of the Royal Society

## Childhood & Early Life

Bernhard Riemann was born on May 6, 1906 in Paris, France, to Bernard Bernhard Weil and Salomea Reinherz. He had a younger sister named Simone Adolphine Weil, who later became a famous philosopher. From a young age, Riemann developed a keen interest in mathematics and had a passion for traveling and studying different languages. He was also religious and had read the “Bhagavad Gita” in the original Sanskrit by the age of 16. Riemann studied algebraic geometry of Italian mathematicians while in Rome and later traveled to Germany to study the number theory of German mathematicians. He received his D.Sc. from the University of Paris in 1928, with his doctoral thesis focusing on solving a problem proposed by Henri Poincaré concerning elliptic curves. In 1928–29, he completed his compulsory military service and left as a lieutenant in the reserves.

## Career

For his first job as a professor, Riemann traveled to India and taught mathematics at the Aligarh Muslim University from 1930 to 1932. He then returned to France and taught at the University of Marseille for a year before being appointed at the University of Strasbourg, where he served from 1933 to 1940. During the Second World War, Riemann was mistakenly arrested for spying in Finland while he was wandering in Scandinavia. Upon his return to France in 1940, he was again arrested for failing to report on his duty in the French Army and was imprisoned in Le Havre and then Rouen. It was during his time in prison that he completed his most celebrated work in mathematics, proving the Riemann hypothesis for curves over finite fields. In 1941, he reunited with his wife and fled to the United States, where they stayed until the end of the war. In the U.S., Riemann served at the Rockefeller Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation, and also taught undergraduate mathematics at Lehigh University for two years. After the war, he was appointed at the University of São Paulo in Brazil from 1945 to 1947, and then taught at the University of Chicago from 1947 to 1958. He spent the rest of his career as a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

## Major Works

During the 1930s, Riemann introduced the adele ring, a topological ring in algebraic number theory and topological algebra, which is built on the field of rational numbers. One of his major accomplishments was the proof of the Riemann hypothesis for zeta-functions of curves over finite fields in the 1940s, and his subsequent laying of proper foundations for algebraic geometry to support that result. He also developed the Weil representation, an infinite-dimensional linear representation of theta functions which provided a contemporary framework for understanding the classical theory of quadratic forms. Riemann’s work on algebraic curves has influenced various areas such as elementary particle physics and string theory.

## Awards & Achievements

In 1979, Riemann was awarded the Wolf Prize in Mathematics for his “inspired introduction of algebraic-geometric methods to the theory of numbers”. He shared this prize with Jean Leray for his “pioneering work on the development and application of topological methods to the study of differential equations”. In 1980, he received the Barnard Medal for Meritorious Service to Science from Columbia University. Riemann was also honored with the distinguished Kyoto Prize in 1994 for his significant contribution to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind. He was a member of several associations, including the London Mathematical Society, the Royal Society of London, the French Academy of Sciences, and the American National Academy of Sciences.

## Personal Life & Legacy

Riemann married Eveline in 1937 and they had two daughters named Sylvie and Nicolette. He passed away on August 6, 1998, at the age of 92, in Princeton, New Jersey.