A Biography of Jacques Tits
Tits was a Belgian child prodigy who turned out to be a great genius among mathematicians. At age nine, he could solve quadratic equations. At age 13, he knew Calculus, actually Real variables, that he studied quickly by himself in a two volume course due to the famous Charles-Jean de La Vallée Poussin. He started teaching this material to engineering students who were meeting difficulties. He presented a reputed entrance examination at the Ecole Polytechnique of the Université libre de Bruxelles, he succeeded as best of all students and so, he became a freshman in Mathematics at age 14. In the third year, he accomplished deep research all by himself on sharply 3-transitive groups and more. Thus he got his first degree in mathematics at 18 and his PhD at 19.
KeywordsCoxeter Group Projective Geometry Private Tutoring Exceptional Group Erlangen Program
An interview with the Abel Laureates 2008, John G. Thompson and Jacques Tits, by C. Skau (NTNU, Norway) and M. Raussen (Aalborg, Denmark) (MP4 380.6 MB)