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Pierre Bézier (1910--1999) --- Historical Sketch

Pierre Bézier was born in 1910 into a family of engineers, in Paris, France. In keeping with his family's tradition, he graduated in mechanical engineering from the Ecole des Arts et Métiers in 1930. He graduated in electrical engineering from the École Supérieure d'Électricité (known as Supélec) in 1931 and, in 1977, he earned his DSc in mathematics from the University of Paris. In the intervening years, Bézier worked for the Renault company, holding a variety of leadership positions in design and production, retiring in 1975.

In his work, he needed to design interactive free-form three-dimensional curves and surfaces. This is the background for his development of what are today called Bézier curves.

Bézier began his academic career in 1968 as a Professor of Production Engineering at the Conservatoire National de Arts et Métiers, holding that position until 1979. He wrote several books and papers during this career, and was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa of the Technical University in Berlin. He was also an honorary member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and of the Société Belge des Mécaniciens (now the Belgian Society of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering), among other distinctions.

He died December 7, 1999. As he is reliably reputed to have had a fine sense of humor, he may forgive us for including this limerick in his honor.MATH


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Bézier curves

Historical sketches


Copyright © 2006 Darel Hardy, Fred Richman, Carol Walker, Robert Wisner. All rights reserved. Except upon the express prior permission in writing, from the authors, no part of this work may be reproduced, transcribed, stored electronically, or transmitted in any form by any method.

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