Montessus, Robert de

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Montessus, Robert de

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  • Montessus de Ballore, R. de
  • Montessus de Ballore, Robert de
  • Montessus, R. de

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Dates of existence

1870-05-20 - 1937-01-26


Robert de Montessus de Ballore was a French mathematician, 1870–1937. In 1898, he entered the French Mathematical Society with the support of his fellow mathematicians Charles-Ange Laisant and Maurice d’Ocagne. Before the First World War, Montessus was professor of mathematics at the Catholic University of Lille. In the early 1920s he left Lille and, in 1924, he obtained a post with the National Office of Meteorology in Paris.

Montessus submitted his thesis, under the supervision of the mathematician Paul Appel, at the Sorbonne in 1905. He was given important assignments in the field of further algebraic fractions. Montessus was awarded the Grand Prix of the Academy of Sciences in 1906 for this work. After his thesis, he continued to pursue his interest in probability theory. In 1908, he published an introductory work on probabilities in which he devoted a chapter to the innovative works by Louis Bachelier on the theory of speculation. Montessus then shifted his attention to research in geometry, such as the study of certain algebraic space curves.

In 1917 he joined the editorial board of the Journal de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées at the request from Camille Jordan. From 1924 on, his research focused on applied statistics. He became a prolific scholar and author of numerous articles in academic journals, such as Acta Mathematica or the Journal de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées. These publications were supplemented by papers in l’Einseignement des Mathématiques, La revue du Mois, as well as by his activities in learned societies, including the Société Scientifique in Brussels. Besides these involvements, Montessus published on a range of mathematical topics, such as numerical calculation, probability theory, elliptic functions, rational mechanics and statistics.

In 1919, Montessus embarked on the publication of l’Index Generalis, which was supposed to be a directory of higher education institutions and research centres around the world. As a contributing editor of this project, he was in touch with the CICI and the IIIC over the years. (Le Ferrand, 2010)


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Suivant la règle RDDA 22.1B, la forme de nom autorisée vient du catalogue BnF comme ouvrage de référence.


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Ecrit par Le Ferrand; notice crée par AWT, 15-11-2013. English translation by Jan Stöckmann 11-08-2015.




  • Le Ferrand, Hervé. (2013). Re: Robert de Montessus : Index Generalis et SDN. E-mail. Personal communication. 12-11-2013.
  • Le Ferrand, Hervé. (2011). Robet de Montessus de Ballore. Disponible sur le Site web du School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland; consulté le 08-11-2013:
  • Le Ferrand, Hervé. (2010). Robert de Montessus de Ballore, mathématicien, éditeur de l'Index Generalis 1919-1937. Disponible dans HAL : hyper articles en ligne, consulté le 08-11-2013 :
  • Le Ferrand, Hervé et Martine Le Ferrand. (2011). Deux frères scientifiques de renom : Fernand et Robert de Montessus de Ballore. Bulletin de la Sabix [En ligne], 48, 2011, mis en ligne le 13 mai 2013, consulté le 08 novembre 2013. URL :

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