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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, June Barrow-Green, Timothy Gowers

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VI.33 Niels Henrik Abel

b. Finnöy, Norway, 1802; d. Froland, Norway, 1829Theory of equations; analysis; elliptic functions; Abelian integrals

Abel’s life was short and penurious, but successful, and he received recognition in his lifetime. His father—a minister of the church in Norway, but also at one time a government minister—overreached himself and when he died he left the family in straitened circumstances. Abel’s exceptional intellectual talents were recognized at school, and funds were raised to enable him to complete his education and, in particular, to study mathematics. At age twenty-two, he was awarded a scholarship to make a two-year tour of Europe, during which he studied in Berlin and Paris. In Berlin he met and was befriended ...

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