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Elie Cartan (1869-1951), French mathematician. Cartan was educated at Paris, and taught at many of the great universities of France. Cartan's most far-reaching work was the development of analysis of differentiable manifolds. This is a branch of topology which occupies a central place in mathematics and which has implications in fields such as analytical dynamics and general relativity. He reached these conclusions through his earlier study of Lie (continuous) groups. Cartan was largely overlooked for most of his life; only in his later years was he recognised as one of the most original and powerful mathematicians of the 20th Century.
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