René Thom

René Thom, Mathematician

Permanent professor from 1963 to 1990

He covered a huge area of science: starting from topology, the field of mathematics that looks at forms and deformations, he created the “mathematics of morphogenesis”, putting forward models for biology and human sciences. His proposals, often grouped under the name of “catastrophe theory”, were sometimes controversial, but elicited considerable interest from outside the scient­ific community. He spent the rest of his scientific life studying theoretical biology, but mainly Aristotelian philosophy.

Fields Medal (1958)
Member of the French Academy of Science
Brouwer Medal (1970)


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