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Marmotte et Castor !

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Short Biography


I am an Austrian mathematician and mathematical physicist whose main interest lies in the applications of harmonic analysis (in the broad sense) to quantum mechanics. I work at the University of Vienna

 I was born in Berlin but I grew up mainly in France (Nice and Paris). I am married with Charlyne since 1970 (we met in Nice in 1969) and we have four children; Serge, Corinne, Samantha, and Sven. My mother was from Helsinki in Finland and my father from Vienna in Austria. My parents met in France while studying French at the University; they got married after the war in the lovely city of Saint Tropez on the French Riviera. I grew up in Berlin, and at the age of 6 I moved to France, first to Nice and then to Paris. I got my "Baccalauréat" at the Lycée de Saint-Cloud near Paris. I thereafter moved back to Nice to study mathematics at the newly founded University. I got my Ph.D. at the University of Nice in 1978 under the supervision of Jacques Chazarain. In 1992 I obtained a "Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches en Mathématiques Pures" at Sorbonne University under the mentorship of Jean Leray, at that time Professor at the Collège de France. Leray was to become a close friend. See the genealogy project

Broadly speaking my research interests lie in Analysis, Geometry, and their applications to mathematical physics. A more precise and technical definition of me as a mathematician would be "works in symplectic harmonic analysis". Currently, my main interest lies in the applications of these topics to quantum mechanics and quantum information theory, and to Gabor analysis.

Some of my hobbies: epistemological and ontological questions in quantum mechanics. Dining out and enjoying good company.

You can  contact me using my private email address:

Wikipedia biographical article

Bourbaki and me

The University of Nice was in the 1970s a stronghold of the Bourbaki group. My teachers were J. Dieudonné, L. Boutet de Monvel, A. Douady during my undergraduate studies; they succeeded in convincing me of the superiority of Poincaré on Hilbert... For opinions (which I share) about the Bourbaki "school"  here are a few interesting texts:

And, talking about Arnol'd: here is a text by  Leonid Polterovich " Remembering Vladimir Arnold"  arnold4.pdf

Scientific Profile

Academic Degrees

Doctorat de 3. Cycle (PhD):  Université de Nice, June 1978. Title of thesis: "Hypoellipticité partielle à la frontière des opérateurs pseudo-différentiels de transmission".

My supervisor was Jacques Chazarain, at that time a leading specialist in partial differential equations (he now works in artificial intelligence). The subject of my thesis was a microlocal study of the transmission property for pseudo-differential opeartors, with applications to partial hypoellipticity. I later extended this work in a series of articles; in particular I succeded in defining a notion of "boundary wavefront set", which behaved well under the action of pseudo-differential operators with the transmission property

Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches: Université Paris-Sorbonne (formerly Pierre et Marie Curie), 1992.
My mentor was Jean Leray (Collège de France), one of the great French mathematicians of last century. Did you know that Leray invented sheaf theory and spectral sequences while being a prisoner of war in Austria during WWII? See Haynes Miller's text in Gaz. Math. No. 84 (2000), 17-34 "Leray in Oflag XVIIA

The "Habilitation" is the highest French academic degree. It is necessary for applying for a professorship in France; it replaces the former Doctorat d'État. I was Leray's last student; his mentorship was actually unofficial since he was at that time over 85 years old: the French motto was (and still is!) place aux jeunes! My Habilitation thesis consisted of a series of papers, on partial differential equations and on a topological and combinatorial study of the Maslov index, with applications to the theory of the metaplectic group.


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