From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Benjamin Olinde Rodrigues (1795–1851), more
commonly known as Olinde Rodrigues, was a French banker, mathematician, and social
reformer.
Rodrigues was born into a well-to-do Portuguese Jewish^{[1]} family
in Bordeaux, France. Rodrigues was awarded a
doctorate in mathematics
on 28 June 1815 by the University of Paris.^{[2]} His
dissertation contains the result now called Rodrigues'
formula.^{[3]}
After graduation, Rodrigues became a banker. A close associate
of the Comte de
Saint-Simon, after the latter's death in 1825, he continued to
champion his socialist
ideals (Saint-Simonianism). Rodrigues
published writings on politics, social reform, and banking.
In 1840, he published a result on transformation groups. However, his work on
mathematics was largely ignored, and has only relatively recently
been rediscovered. He died in Paris.
Rodrigues is remembered for two formulae: one about rotation of
vectors (see Rodrigues' rotation
formula) and the other about series of orthogonal polynomials. The
former is known as "the Rodrigues formula" thanks to the advocacy
of Eduard Heine,
who argued that, because Charles Hermite "had shown that
Rodrigues had priority in discovering the formula, then it should
be known as the Rodrigues formula."^{[4]}
Notes
- ^
Simon Altmann, "Rotations, Quaternions and Double Groups"(Clarendon
Press, Oxford, 1986, ISBN 0-19-855372-2): "The family is often said
to have been of Spanish origin, but the spelling of the family name
rather suggests Portuguese descent (as indeed asserted by the
'Enciclopedia Universal Illustrada Espasa-Calpe')". For more
information on the Rodrigues as Portuguese Jews in Bordeaux see
also the Jewish Encyclopedia at http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1332&letter=B
- ^
Altmann and Ortiz(2005), p. 12
- ^
Olinde Rodrigues (January, 1816).
"De l'attraction des sphéroïdes". Correspondence sur l'École
Impériale Polytechnique 3 (3): pp.
361–385.
- ^
O'Connor, John J.; Robertson,
Edmund F., "Olinde Rodrigues",
MacTutor History of
Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Rodrigues.html
.
References
- Simon L. Altmann (1989).
"Hamilton, Rodrigues and the quaternion scandal". Mathematics
Magazine 62: 291–308. ISSN
0025-570X.
- Simon L. Altmann (2005).
Rotations, Quaternions and Double Groups. Dover
Publications. ISBN
0-486-44518-6.
- Simon L. Altmann; & Eduardo
L.Ortiz (eds.) (2005). Mathematics and social utopias in
France: Olinde Rodrigues and his times. American Mathematical
Society, Providence, RI. ISBN
0-8218-3860-1.
Corrects some of
the traditional thinking about Rodrigues as a mathematician