Athanase Louis Victoire Dupré

Born: 28 Dec 1808 in Cerisiers, France
Died: 10 Aug 1869 in Rennes, France

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Dupré was educated at the Collège in Auxerre. He entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1826. He was placed first in his class when he graduated in 1829. After taking his degree, Dupré was appointed to the Collège Royal in Rennes. He taught mathematics and physics there until 1847.

In 1847 Dupré was appointed to the chair of mathematics in the Faculty of Science at Rennes. In 1866 he was appointed dean of the Faculty.

Dupré received relatively little in the way of honours for his mathematical work in view of its quality. For example he was never elected to the Academy of Sciences. However he did receive the Legion of Honour in 1863.

For the first part of his career, from 1826 until 1859, Dupré contributed to a number of areas in mathematics and physics. He won an honourable mention for the 1858 Grand Prix of the Academy of Sciences with a paper on Legendre's theory of numbers. He was awarded one half of the 3000 franc prize.

It looks as if Dupré was somewhat unhappy with his treatment. He certainly changed research topic following the prize announcement. For the last ten years of his career he studied the mechanical theory of heat. He published 40 papers on this topic in the Academy of Sciences and made the concepts of thermodynamics well known in France.

Dupré wrote a successful advanced textbook Théorie méchanique de la chaleur (1869). He entered for the Academy of Science's Bordin prize in 1866 with the same half success as his entry on number theory. Again he was awarded one half of the prize with an honourable mention.

References (2 books/articles)

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JOC/EFR December 1996