Francis Clarke (mathematician)

Frank "Francis" H. Clarke (born 30 July 1948, Montreal) is a Canadian and French mathematician.[1]


Francis Clarke graduated in 1969 from McGill University with a B.Sc. degree in 1969 and in 1973 from the University of Washington with a Ph.D with thesis advisor R. Tyrrell Rockafellar.[2] In 1978 Clarke became a full professor at the University of British Columbia and gave an invited lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Helsinki.[3][4] In 1984 he was appointed director of the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM) of the University of Montreal. During the nine years of his directorship, CRM became Canada's leading national research center for mathematics and its applications. The successes of Clarke's directorship included the creation of workshops and postdoctoral fellowships, thematic years, two series of publications, research awards, and an endowment fund. Francis Clarke is also the founding director of the Institut des Sciences Mathématiques[5] (ISM) of Quebec.

In 1995 Francis Clarke was appointed full professor at Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, where he was a member of the Institut Camille-Jordan. In 2000 he was appointed to a chair in mathematical theory of control at the Institut universitaire de France. In 2004, he chaired the selection committee for the first joint conference of the six mathematical societies of Canada and France.


Francis Clarke is known for his contributions to nonsmooth analysis (a term that is due to him), and particularly for his theory of generalized gradients (gradients généralisés), as well as for his work in optimization, the equations differentials, control theory, calculation of variations, and modeling in several application domains. His book Optimization and Nonsmooth Analysis has over 11600 citations.

Awards and honoursEdit



  1. ^ "Short biography" (PDF). University of Padua (
  2. ^ Francis H. Clarke at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ "List of Speakers of the International Congress of Mathematicians". International Mathematical Union.
  4. ^ Clarke, Frank H. (1983). "Nonsmooth analysis and optimization". Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians, Helsinki, 1978. vol. 5. pp. 847–853. CiteSeerX
  5. ^ Institut des Sciences Mathématiques
  6. ^ "W.T. and Idalia Reid Prize in Mathematics".
  7. ^ "Coxeter-James Prize". Canadian Mathematical Society.
  8. ^ "Killam Fellowship Awards | Canada Council for the Arts".
  9. ^ Manitius, Andrzej (1985). "Reviewed work: Optimization and Nonsmooth Analysis., Frank H. Clarke". SIAM Review. 27 (2): 288–291. doi:10.1137/1027091. JSTOR 2030777.
  10. ^ Piccoli, B. (2001). "Nonsmooth analysis and control theory [Book Review]". IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. 46 (8): 1343. doi:10.1109/TAC.2001.940948. ISSN 0018-9286.
  11. ^ Henrion, Didier (October 2013). "Review of Functional analysis, calculus of variations and optimal control by Francis Clarke" (PDF).