Moutard, Théodore Florentin

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(b. Soultz, Haut-Rhin, France, 27 July 1827; d. Paris, France, 13 March 1901), geometry, engineering.

Moutard was educated at the École Polytechnique from 1844 to 1846. Like many of his fellow students and alumni, he was both an engineer and a geometer. He was graduated from the École des Mines in 1849 and entered the engineering corps. He was discharged in 1852, because as a republican he refused to take the required loyalty oath after the coup d’état by Napoleon III. He was reinstated in 1870. The majority of his mathematical publications date from these years. In 1875 Moutard was appointed professor of mechanics at the École des Mines, but he retained his army rank and was named ingénieur en chef in 1878 and inspecteur général in 1886. He retired with the latter rank in 1897 but retained his position at the École des Mines. From 1883 he also served as an outside examiner at the École Polytechnique. He was one of the collaborators on La grande encyclopédie.

Moutard’s mathematical work was primarily in the theory of algebraic surfaces, particularly anallagmatic surfaces, differential geometry, and partial differential equations. His broadest work was a memoir on elliptic functions, which was published as an appendix in Victor Poncelet’s Applications d’analyse et de géométrie.


I. Original Works. The works by Moutard in Victor Poncelet, Applications d’analyse et de géométrie, 2 vols. (Paris, 1862–1864), are “Rapprochements divers entre les principales méthodes de la géométrie pure et celles de l’analyse algébrique” (I, 509–535); the work on elliptic functions, “Recherches analytiques sur les polygons simultanément inscrits et circonscrits ä deux coniques” (I, 535–560), and a short note “Addition au IVe cahier” (II, 363–364), on the principle of continuity. A bibliography of Moutard’s papers in various journals can be found in Poggendorff, IV, 1037.

II. Secondary Literature. An account of Moutard’s life is in La grande encyclopédie, XXIV, 504. His work is also mentioned in Michel Chasles, Rapport sur les progés de la géométrie; (Paris, 1870).

Elaine Koppelman