Meaning of THOM, REN FRDRIC in English

THOM, REN FRDRIC

born Sept. 2, 1923, Montbliard, France French mathematician who was awarded the Fields Medal in 1958 for his work in topology. Thom graduated from the cole Normale Suprieure, Paris, in 1946, spent four years at the National Centre for Scientific Research, also in Paris, and in 1951 was awarded a doctorate by the University of Paris. He held appointments at the University of Grenoble (195354) and the University of Strasbourg (195463). In 1964 he became a professor at the Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies, Bures-sur-Yvette. Thom was awarded the Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Edinburgh in 1958 for his numerous important contributions in topology, particularly the introduction of the concept of cobordism. Cobordism is a tool for classifying differentiable manifolds. Two manifolds of dimension n are cobordant if there exists a manifold-with-boundary of dimension n + 1, whose boundary is their disjoint union. He is best known, however, for catastrophe theory, an attempt to model abrupt behavioral changes, such as the transition from liquid to gas or, in human events, from peace to war, with functions on surfaces that have folds and cusps. The subject became controversial when some of Thom's friends and colleagues made rather extravagant claims on the applicability of catastrophe theory. In addition, it was realized that many of the associated ideas, under different terminology, had already been employed by applied mathematicians. Thom's publications include Stabilit structurelle et morphognse (1972; Structural Stability and Morphogenesis) and Thorie des catastrophes et biologie (1979; Catastrophe Theory in Biology).

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.