Olinde Rodrigues

Benjamin Olinde Rodrigues
Born(1795-10-06)6 October 1795
Died17 December 1851(1851-12-17) (aged 56)
Alma materUniversity of Paris

Benjamin Olinde Rodrigues (6 October 1795 – 17 December 1851), more commonly known as Olinde Rodrigues, was a French banker, mathematician, and social reformer. In mathematics Rodrigues is remembered for Rodrigues' rotation formula for vectors, the Rodrigues formula about series of orthogonal polynomials and the Euler–Rodrigues parameters.


Rodrigues was born into a well-to-do Sephardi Jewish family in Bordeaux. His family was of Portuguese-Jewish descent. He was awarded a doctorate in mathematics on 28 June 1815 by the University of Paris. His dissertation contains the result now called Rodrigues' formula.

After graduation, Rodrigues became a banker. A close associate of the Comte de Saint-Simon, Rodrigues continued, after Saint-Simon's death in 1825, to champion the older man's socialist ideals, a school of thought that came to be known as Saint-Simonianism. During this period, Rodrigues published writings on politics, social reform, and banking.

In 1840 he published a result on transformation groups, which applied Leonhard Euler's four squares formula, a precursor to the quaternions of William Rowan Hamilton, to the problem of representing rotations in space. In 1846 Arthur Cayley acknowledged Euler's and Rodrigues' priority describing orthogonal transformations.

Rodrigues is credited as originating the idea of the artist as an avant-garde.


See also

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