Cauchy was born in Paris and educated as an engineer at the École Polytechnique. After serving for a short time as an engineer, he became interested in mathematics and, with encouragement from Laplace and Lagrange, changed fields. He made important contributions to algebras, number theory, and analysis; he is responsible for the fundamental theorems in complex variables. Cauchy saw the need for more rigor in analysis and developed tests for the convergence of infinite series and published an exposition of calculus based on limits; he was not completely successful, since he did not have the constructions of irrational numbers later given by Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass. He was a man of strong opinions, including those concerning the calculus, and received the wrath of students and administrators alike for teaching a limit based calculus course at the École Polytechnique. Except for Euler, Cauchy was the most prolific mathematician of all time, and the still in effect four page limit for papers in Compte Rendus was instituted to deal with his output. He was, however, a difficult man who held extremely conservative (bigoted) religious and politic views; he also has the distinction of losing important papers of both Abel and Galois while serving as a referee.
Augustin-Louis Cauchy (1789-1857)
France (1989), No. 2176