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Marius Sophia Lie (1842–1899)



    ON December 17 occurs the centenary of the birth of the distinguished Norwegian mathematician Marius Sophia Lie, who was born at Nordfjordeif, near Bergen. Educated at the University of Christiania (Oslo), he took his doctorate in 1868 and, after gaining a travelling scholarship, visited France and Germany, making the acquaintance of Klein, Darboux and Jordan. In 1872 a special chair of mathematics was created for him at Christiania, but fourteen years later he returned to Germany to succeed Klein at Leipzig. He returned to the Norwegian capital in 1898, and died there on February 18, 1899. Lie was recognized as one of the most original and independent workers in pure mathematics ; he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society, and the Cambridge Philosophical Society and the London Mathematical Society added his name to their lists of honorary members. Referring to his death, Larmor said, at the meeting of the British Association in 1900, “We have lost one of the greatest constructive mathematicians of this century, who has in various directions fundamentally expanded the methods and conceptions of analysis by reverting to the fountain of direct geometrical intuition”.

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