A Biography of Jacques Tits

  • Francis BuekenhoutEmail author
Part of the The Abel Prize book series (AP)


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.


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Supplementary material

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)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de MathématiqueUniversité libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de BelgiqueBrusselsBelgium

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