# Marcel-Paul Schützenberger

Marcel-Paul Schützenberger | |
---|---|

Born |
Paris | October 24, 1920

Died |
July 29, 1996 75) Paris | (aged

Nationality | French |

Fields | Mathematics |

Institutions | University of Paris |

Alma mater | University of Paris |

Doctoral advisor |
Georges Darmois Albert Châtelet |

Doctoral students |
Jean Berstel Dominique Foata Alain Lascoux Maurice Nivat Louis Nolin Jean-François Perrot |

**Marcel-Paul "Marco" Schützenberger** (October 24, 1920 – July 29, 1996) was a French mathematician and Doctor of Medicine. He worked in the fields of formal language, combinatorics, and information theory.^{[1]} In addition to his formal results in mathematics, he was "deeply involved in [a] struggle against the votaries of [neo-]Darwinism",^{[2]} a stance which has resulted in some mixed reactions from his peers and from critics of his stance on evolution. Several notable theorems and objects in mathematics bear his name (for example Schutzenberger group). Paul Schützenberger was his great-grandfather.

## Contributions to medicine and biology

Schützenberger's first doctorate, in medicine, was awarded in 1948 from the *Faculté de Médecine de Paris*.^{[3]} His doctoral thesis, on the statistical study of gender at birth, was distinguished by the Baron Larrey Prize from the French Academy of Medicine.^{[4]}

Biologist Jaques Besson, a co-author with Schützenberger on a biological topic,^{[5]} while noting that Schützenberger is perhaps most remembered for work in pure mathematical fields, credits him^{[4]} for likely being responsible for the introduction of statistical sequential analysis in French hospital practice.^{[6]}

## Contributions to mathematics and linguistics

Schützenberger's second doctorate was awarded in 1953 from Université Paris III.^{[7]} This work, developed from earlier results^{[8]}^{[9]} is counted amongst the early influential French academic work in information theory.^{[10]} His later impact in both linguistics and combinatorics is reflected by two theorems in formal linguistics (the Chomsky–Schützenberger enumeration theorem^{[11]} and the Chomsky–Schützenberger representation theorem), and one in combinatorics (the Schützenberger theorem). With Alain Lascoux, Schützenberger is credited with the foundation of the notion of the plactic monoid,^{[12]}^{[13]} reflected in the name of the combinatorial structure called by some the Lascoux–Schützenberger tree.^{[14]}^{[15]}

The mathematician Dominique Perrin credited Schützenberger with "deeply [influencing] the theory of semigroups", and "deep results on rational functions and transducers," amongst other contributions to mathematics.^{[1]}

## Offices, honors, and recognitions

- Professorships and other teaching
^{[1]}

- Professor in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Poitiers (1957–1963)
- Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University (1961–1962)
- Director of Research at the CNRS (1963–1964)
- Professor at the University of Paris (1964–1970)
- Professor in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Paris VII (1970-until his death in 1996)

- National honors

- In 1988, after having been a
*Correspondant*since 1979, Schützenberger was made a full*Membre*of French Academy of Sciences.

- Posthumous recognitions

After his death, two journals in theoretical mathematics dedicated issues to Schützenberger's memory. He was commemorated in this manner by *Theoretical Computer Science* in 1998^{[16]} and again by the *International Journal of Algebra and Computation* in 1999.^{[17]}

The mathematician David Berlinski provided this dedication in his 2000 book *The Advent of The Algorithm --- The Idea that Rules the World*: À la mémoire de mon ami . . M. P. Schützenberger, 1921-1996.

## Trivia

- The character "Dr. Schütz" in Boris Vian's 1948 novel,
*Et on tuera tous les affreux*, is said to have been inspired by Schützenberger.^{[18]} - Together with many of his students, Schützenberger is one of the contributors of the pseudonymous collective M. Lothaire.

## See also

## References and notes

- 1 2 3 Herbert Wilf, Dominique Foata,
*et al.*, "In Memoriam: Marcel-Paul Schützenberger, 1920-1996,"*Electronic Journal of Combinatorics*, served from University of Pennsylvania Dept. of Mathematics Server, article dated 12 October 1996, retrieved from WWW on 4 November 2006. - ↑ Foata, Dominique, "In Memoriam,"
*op. cit.* - ↑ Schützenberger, Marcel-Paul,
*Contribution à l'étude statistique du sexe à la naissance*, Doctoral thesis,*Faculté de Médecine de Paris*, 2 July 1948. - 1 2 Besson, Jaques, "
*La quête de M. P. Schützenberger en Médecine et Biologie*," dated March 2001, retrieved on 5 November 2006. - ↑ Besson, Jaques, Gavaudan, Pierre, & Schützenberger, Marcel-Paul, "
*Sur l'existence d'une certaine corrélation entre le poids moléculaire des acides aminés et le nombre de triplets intervenant dans leurs codages*,"*C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris*, No. 268, pp. 1342–1344, 1969. - ↑ Schützenberger, Marcel-Parul, "
*Une application de l'analyse séquentielle*,"*Semaine des Hôpitaux de Paris*, Vol. 25 No. 60, pp. 2562–2564, 14 August 1949. - ↑ Marcel-Paul Schützenberger (1953).
*Contributions aux applications statistiques de la theorie de l'information*(Ph.D.). Publications de l'Institut de Statistique de l'Université de Paris III. 3-117. Institut de statistique de l'universite de Paris. Record at WorldCat - ↑ Ville, Jean & Schützenberger, Marcel-Paul, "
*Les opérations des mathématiques pures sont toutes des fonctions logiques,*"*Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Sciences*, 232, pp. 206-207, 1951. - ↑ Schützenberger, Marcel-Paul (1951). "Sur les rapports entre la quantité d'information au sens de Fisher et au sens de Wiener" (PDF).
*Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences*.**232**: 925–227. - ↑ Mindell, David; et al. (2003). "From Communications Engineering to Communications Science: Cybernetics and Information Theory in the United States, France and the Soviet Union". In Walker, Mark.
*Science and Ideology: A Comparative History*. London: Routledge. pp. 66–95. ISBN 0-415-27122-3. - ↑ Chomsky, Noam & Schützenberger, Marcel-Paul "The Algebraic Theory of Context-Free Languages", in
*Computer Programming and Formal Systems*, P. Braffort and D. Hirschberg (eds.), North Holland, pp. 118-161, 1963. - ↑ Lascoux, Alain & Schützenberger, Marcel-Paul, "
*Le monoïde plaxique*," in*Noncommutative structures in algebra and geometric combinatorics (Naples, 1978)*, volume 109 of*Quad. Ricerca Sci.*, pp. 129–156, CNR, Rome, Italy, 1981. - ↑ Schützenberger, Marcel-Paul (1997). "Pour le monoïde plaxique" (PDF).
*Math. Inform. Sci. Humaines*.**140**: 5–10. - ↑ Little, David (2003). "Combinatorial Aspects of the Lascoux-Schützenberger Tree".
*Adv. Math.***174**(2): 236–253. doi:10.1016/S0001-8708(02)00038-5. - ↑ Lam, Thomas; Shimozono, Mark (2006). "A Little Bijection for Affine Stanley Symmetric Functions". arXiv:math.CO/0601483.
- ↑ "Special issue: papers dedicated to the memory of Marcel-Paul Schützenberger",
*Theoretical Computer Science*, Nivat, M. & Perrin, Dominique (eds.), Vol. 204, Issues 1-2, September 1998. - ↑ "Special Issue: Dedicated to the Memory of Marcel-Paul Schützenberger,"
*International Journal of Algebra and Computation*, Vol. 9, Nos. 3-4, June & August 1999. Issue at URL: http://ejournals.wspc.com.sg/132/09/0903n04/S02181967990903n04.html - ↑ See: http://www.astroline.ro/P_Marcel-Paul_Schutzenberger__145.html

## External links

- Publications of Marcel-Paul Schützenberger (A list of 266 works authored or co-authored by Schützenberger from 1943 to 2000.)
- Wilf, Herbert S. (1996). "Marcel-Paul Schützenberger, 1920-1996" (3): #F1.
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Marcel-Paul Schützenberger",
*MacTutor History of Mathematics archive*, University of St Andrews. - Marcel-Paul Schützenberger at the Mathematics Genealogy Project