CRM: Centro De Giorgi
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Lagrange two hundred years later (Aula Dini, Palazzo Castelletto)

15 April 2013 - 18 April 2013


Lagrange was born on 25th January 1736 in Turin, where his first seminal results on the equation of the vibrating string and on the calculus of variations were published. Following D'Alembert's suggestion, Frederick II of Prussia offered Lagrange the chair of mathematics at the Berlin Academy, a position which he accepted in 1766. Lagrange published most of his original work during the Berlin years, with contributions ranging from number theory to the theory of algebraic equations, to ordinary differential equations and partial derivatives, to the equations of finite differences. In addition, during the Berlin years Lagrange's contribution included the foundations of analysis, mechanics and hydrodynamics, as well as the solution to important problems in celestial mechanics. He also had an interest in problems related to insurance and annuities. Lagrange moved from Berlin to Paris at the eve of the Revolution, which he witnesses with sympathy. He was one of the first professors to be appointed at the Ecole Normale and the Ecole Polytechnique. His fundamental treatises on the theory of analytic functions, the solution of numerical equations, the calculus of functions and the first two printed editions of his analytical mechanics, all belong to the Paris years. This bicentenary certainly provides an occasion for the Centro De Giorgi to host a meeting of European scholars who either continued or engaged with Lagrange's scientific tradition, especially in Italy, France and Germany.