Gaston Julia (right), with Gustav Herglotz, comparing dogs
3 February 1893|
Sidi Bel Abbes, French Algeria
|Died||19 March 1978
|Institutions||University of Paris|
|Alma mater||École Normale Supérieure
University of Paris
|Doctoral advisor||Marie Georges Humbert
Charles Émile Picard
|Doctoral students||Jacques Dixmier|
|Known for||Julia set|
Gaston Maurice Julia (3 February 1893 – 19 March 1978) was a French mathematician who devised the formula for the Julia set. His works were popularized by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot; the Julia and Mandelbrot fractals are closely related.
Julia was born in the Algerian town of Sidi Bel Abbes, at the time governed by the French. During his youth, he had an interest in mathematics and music. His studies were interrupted at the age of 21, when France became involved in World War I and Julia was conscripted to serve with the army. During an attack he suffered a severe injury, losing his nose. His many operations to remedy the situation were all unsuccessful, and for the rest of his life he resigned himself to wearing a leather strap around the area where his nose had been.
Career in mathematics
Julia gained attention for his mathematical work after the war when a 199-page article he wrote was featured in the Journal de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées, a French mathematics journal. The article, which he published in 1918 at the age of 25, titled "Mémoire sur l'itération des fonctions rationnelles" described the iteration of a rational function. The article gained immense popularity among mathematicians and the general population as a whole, and so resulted in Julia's later receiving of the Grand Prix de l'Académie des Sciences. Despite his fame, his works were mostly forgotten until the day Benoit Mandelbrot mentioned them in his works.
On 19 March 1978, Julia died in Paris at the age of 85.
- Ari Ben-Menahem: Historical Encyclopedia of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Springer, ISBN 978-3-540-68832-7, p. 3427
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Gaston Julia", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- Gaston Julia at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Memoir on iteration of rational functions, English translation in parts: 1/7,2/7, 3/7,4/7,5/7,6/7,7/7.
- Downloadable articles at Numdam.
-  Christoph Dötsch, Dynamik meromorpher Funktionen auf der Riemannschen Zahlenkugel, Diplomica GmbH Hamburg (2008)