After attending the Lycée Louis-le-Grand where my father taught, I entered the École Normale Supérieure based on my placing first on the entrance examinations.
Studying mathematics under teachers such as Hermite, Darboux, Appell, and Picard, I earned my doctorate...and that same year was awarded the Grand Prix des Sciences Mathématiques for my prize essay on the Riemann zeta function.
As a professor at the University of Bordeaux, I proved a popular inequality involving determinants (including my eponymic matrices where equality holds), proved the prime number theorem using complex function theory, and made significant discoveries on the differential geometry of surfaces and dynamical systems (concluding with a study of geodesics on surfaces of negative curvature).
I became personally involved in the infamous Dreyfus affair (as my wife was related to Dreyfus), which led to my becoming politically active and a staunch supporter of Jewish causes (though I professed to be an atheist).
Assuming a professorship at the École Polytechnique (succeeding Jordan and Appell), I concentrated on problems of mathematical physics involving partial differential equations, the calculus of variations, and the foundations of functional analysis...introducing the idea of a well-posed problem and the method of descent.
One of my final efforts was an introspective book on mathematical thought processes, based on my interviews of 100 of the leading physicists, asking them how they did their work and made their discoveries.
Jacques Hadamard (1865 - 1963)