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

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VI.41 Évariste Galois

b. Bourg-la-Reine, France, 1811; d. Paris, 1832Theory of equations; theory of groups; Galois theory; finite fields

Galois studied at home until he was eleven years old, then entered the Collège Louis-le-Grand in Paris, where he stayed for six years. He had, and gave his teachers, a difficult time there, but excelled in mathematics, in which he read advanced work of LAGRANGE [VI.22], GAUSS [VI.26], and CAUCHY [VI.29] alongside standard texts of the time. He attempted the entrance examination for the École Polytechnique prematurely in June 1828, but failed. In July 1829, after his father’s suicide, Galois was again rejected by the École Polytechnique. He entered the École Préparatoire (later known as the École Normale Supérieure) ...

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