Wolf Prize Laureate in Mathematics 1980
Affiliation at the time of the award:
Universite de Paris, France
“for pioneering work in algebraic topology, complex variables homological algebra and inspired leadership of a generation of mathematicians”.
Both mathematicians are noteworthy for their breadth of interests and for the depth of the results they have obtained in the various fields of mathematics in which they have been active. Their interests were complementary and, taken together, span almost the whole range of mathematics.
Professor (Emeritus) Henri Cartan began his career in several complex variables when, along with Oka and Thullen, he laid the foundation for the general theory, culminating in the characterization of domains of holomorphy.
During the post-war period for about 15 years, Cartan was the leader of the famous Seminaire Cartan which, attracted mathematicians from all over the world. In this seminar he also turned to algebraic topology and soon made the seminar the center of new developments in this field. The new methods which were introduced by him and by others, formed the basis of an entirely new branch of mathematics, homological algebra, which has grown beyond all expectation. In addition to the above, Cartan has contributed to various theories such as potential theory and harmonic analysis. He was one of the founding fathers of the Bourbaki Circle of French Mathematicians, who have definitely stamped the image of the present science of Mathematics.