1768 - 1830

**This French Mathematician and Physicist, famous for his pioneer
work on the representation of functions by trigonometric series, was born
at Auxere, France on March 21, 1768. He was the son of a tailor who became
a teacher of mathematics at age sixteen at the military school in Auxere.
He later joined the faculty at the Ecole Normale at Paris in the year of
its founding (1795) when he was twenty-seven. His teaching success soon
led to the offer of the Chair of Analysis at the Ecole Polytechnique and
in 1807, he was made a member of the Academy of Sciences.**

**Fourier's masterpiece was his mathematical theory of heat conduction
stated in Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur (1822). As one of the
most important books published in the 19th-century, it marked an epoch
both in the history of pure and applied mathematics. In it, Fourier developed
the theory of the series known by his name and applied it to the solution
of boundary-value problems in partial differential equations. This work
brought to a close a long controversy, and henceforth it was generally
agreed that almost any function of a real variable can be represented by
a series involving the sines and cosines of integral multiples of the variable.**

** After a long and distinguished career, Fourier died in Paris
on May 16, 1830 at age 62.**

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