JeanLouis Verdier (1935 – 1989) was a French mathematician who worked, under the guidance of Alexander Grothendieck, on derived categories and Verdier duality. He was a close collaborator of Alexander Grothendieck, notably contributing to SGA 4 his theory of hypercovers and anticipating the later development of étale homotopy by Michael Artin and Barry Mazur, following a suggestion he attributed to Pierre Cartier. Saul Lubkin's related theory of rigid hypercovers was later taken up by Eric Friedlander in his definition of the etale topological type.
Verdier was a student at the elite Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and later became director of studies there, as well as a Professor at the University of Paris VII. For many years he directed a joint seminar at the Ecole Normale Supérieure with Adrien Douady.
In 1976 Verdier developed a useful regularity condition on stratified sets that the ChineseAustralian mathematician TzeeChar Kuo had previously shown implied the Whitney conditions for subanalytic sets (such as real or complex analytic varieties). Verdier called the condition (w) for Whitney, as at the time he thought (w) might be equivalent to Whitney's condition (b). Real algebraic examples for which the Whitney conditions hold but Verdier's condition (w) fails, were constructed by David Trotman who has obtained many geometric properties of (w)regular stratifications. Work of Bernard Teissier, aided by JeanPierre Henry and Michel Merle at the Ecole Polytechnique, led to the 1982 result that Verdier's condition (w) is equivalent to the Whitney conditions for complex analytic stratifications.
Verdier later worked on the theory of integrable systems.
