Time to read a little bit about Grothendieck.
Alexander Grothendieck, who signed his works in French “Alexandre” but otherwise kept the spelling of his German-Jewish heritage, passed away Thursday in southwestern France.
Today we mourn his passing, and try to describe some of his vision.
Part of the story of this amazing mathematician is that in 1970 he renounced his central position at the Institut des Hautes tudes Scientifiques (IHES) in Paris, and made himself so remote shortly after formally retiring from the University of Montpellier in 1988 that not even family and friends could track him. He boycotted his 1966 Fields Medal ceremony in Moscow to protest the Red Army’s presence in eastern Europe, and declined the Crafoord Prize in 1988.
As captured by this obituary, he had left to seek a society kinder and more just than the ones that killed his father at Auschwitz and convicted him in 1977 of violating a French law…
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