Le théorème date des années 1920. Leopold Vietoris est mort à 111 ans, en 2002. La topologie algébrique allongerait-elle la durée de vie ? Henri Cartan est mort à 104 ans.

Extrait d’un article [1] de Heinrich Reitberger concernant Vietoris :

« Concerning the genesis of this theorem, we may let the principals speak for themselves. Mayer : “I was introduced to topology by my colleague Vietoris, whose lectures in 1926–7 I attended at the local university. In many talks about this field Vietoris gave me a lot of hints for which I am very grateful.” Vietoris : “W. Mayer, whom I told about the problem as well as the conjectured result and a way to its solution, has solved the question, as far as it concerns Betti numbers, in a somewhat different way in these Monatshefte. In what follows, I will return to my original idea and use it for the solution in the general case.” Thus Vietoris calculated the homology groups and not just the Betti numbers (i.e., the ranks of the groups). »