BornParis, France, 21 August 1789
DiedSceaux near Paris, France, 23 May 1857
Augustin-Louis Cauchy was one of the outstanding mathematicians of the nineteenth century. His contributions to astronomy are recognized even today through contemporary problems bearing his name, such as the Cauchy problem in general relativity and Cauchy horizons for black holes.
Augustin-Louis was the eldest of six children (four boys, two girls), born just 1 month after the storm of the Bastille, to Louis-François Cauchy (1760–1848) and Marie-Madeline Desestre (1767–1839). The Revolution interrupted the middle-class lifestyle of Louis-François, principal commis to the Lieutenant-Général de Policeof Paris. Fearing what he perceived as a dangerous situation for himself and his family, Louis-François fled to his country estate at Arcueil with his wife and his two sons, Augustin-Louis and Alexandre-Laurent, in 1794. Ever solicitous of his children’s education, he began teaching them at Arcueil and continued...