Charles Dupin

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Charles Dupin

Pierre Charles François Dupin (October 6, 1784, Varzy, Nièvre – January 18, 1873, Paris, France) was a French Catholic mathematician. He studied geometry with Monge at the École Polytechnique and then became a naval engineer. In 1819 he was appointed professor at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers; he kept this post until 1854. In 1822, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

In 1808, he participates in Greece science revival by teaching mathematics and mechanics lessons in Corfu. One of his students is Giovanni Carandino, who will be the founder of the Greek Mathematics School in the 1820s.

In 1826 he published a thematic map showing the distribution of illiteracy in France, using shadings (from black to white), the first known instance of what is called a choropleth map today.

In addition, he had a political career and was appointed to the Senate in 1852. His mathematical work was in descriptive and differential geometry. He was the discoverer of conjugate tangents to a point on a surface and of the Dupin indicatrix.


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