Grothendieck died

We are the Borg.
User avatar
Witness
Posts: 12640
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm
Has thanked: 1346 times
Been thanked: 1881 times

Grothendieck died

Postby Witness » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:25 am

Those interested in mathematics will have heard of that astonishing guy.

Image

Wikipedia wrote:Alexander Grothendieck (German: [ˈɡroːtn̩diːk]; French: [ɡʁɔtɛndik]; 28 March 1928 – 13 November 2014[1]) was a French[2][3][4] mathematician, and a central figure behind the creation of the modern theory of algebraic geometry. His research program vastly extended the scope of the field, incorporating major elements of commutative algebra, homological algebra, sheaf theory, and category theory into its foundations. This new perspective led to revolutionary advances across many areas of pure mathematics.

Born in Germany, Grothendieck was raised and lived primarily in France, although he can be said to have spent much of his working life stateless. He consistently spelt his first name "Alexander" rather than the French "Alexandre";[5] his family name, "Grothendieck" (from his mother) is Low German, which is similar to Dutch, hence he is sometimes mistakenly believed to be of Dutch origin.[6]

After a very productive public mathematical career lasting 1949–1970, particularly 1958–1970 (when he was at IHES), Grothendieck largely ceased mathematical activity after 1970 (age 42), though with some private work 1970–1988. Driven by deep personal and political convictions, Grothendieck left the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, where he had been appointed professor and accomplished his greatest work, after a dispute over military funding in 1970. His mathematical activity essentially ceased after this, and he devoted his energies to political causes, though he did produce some mathematical work privately. He formally retired in 1988 and within a few years moved to the Pyrenees, where he lived in isolation from human society until his death in 2014.

Note that the "Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques" was practically created for him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Grothendieck

User avatar
ed
Posts: 30966
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:52 pm
Title: Rhino of the Florida swamps
Has thanked: 361 times
Been thanked: 598 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby ed » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:31 am

Seems he squandered a gift. Sad.
- new minimalist ethos -

User avatar
ceptimus
Posts: 1061
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:04 pm
Location: UK
Has thanked: 32 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby ceptimus » Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:27 am

Most mathematicians have completed their best work before 40 - and usually before 30.

User avatar
EvilYeti
Posts: 9222
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:55 am
Location: San Diego
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby EvilYeti » Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:52 am

ceptimus wrote:Most mathematicians have completed their best work before 40 - and usually before 30.


Nope.

Edit: Paul Erdos was prolific right up until his death in his 80's. In fact, he died at a math conference!

User avatar
Anaxagoras
Posts: 19350
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan
Has thanked: 1140 times
Been thanked: 891 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby Anaxagoras » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:36 am

I think it's still true in general even if there are exceptions to the rule.

I think Einstein did most of his most important work before 40.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

User avatar
Doctor X
Posts: 64546
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah
Location: Your Mom
Has thanked: 2783 times
Been thanked: 1755 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby Doctor X » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:04 am

Anaxagoras wrote:I think Einstein did most of his most important work before 40.


EPIC FAIL!

Sorry to make you . . . you know . . . in the rain.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.

Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho

ImageWS CHAMPIONS X3!!! NBA CHAMPIONS!! ImageStanley Cup!Image SB CHAMPIONS X5!!!!! Image

User avatar
Witness
Posts: 12640
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm
Has thanked: 1346 times
Been thanked: 1881 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby Witness » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:22 am

Euler, born 1707:

Wikipedia wrote:Euler's eyesight worsened throughout his mathematical career. Three years after suffering a near-fatal fever in 1735, he became almost blind in his right eye, but Euler rather blamed the painstaking work on cartography he performed for the St. Petersburg Academy for his condition. Euler's vision in that eye worsened throughout his stay in Germany, to the extent that Frederick referred to him as "Cyclops". Euler later developed a cataract in his left eye, which was discovered in 1766. Just a few weeks after its discovery, he was rendered almost totally blind. However, his condition appeared to have little effect on his productivity, as he compensated for it with his mental calculation skills and exquisite memory. For example, Euler could repeat the Aeneid of Virgil from beginning to end without hesitation, and for every page in the edition he could indicate which line was the first and which the last. With the aid of his scribes, Euler's productivity on many areas of study actually increased. He produced on average, one mathematical paper every week in the year 1775.

(Emphasis mine.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonhard_Euler

Note that his works still aren't completely published:

Wikipedia, again, wrote:The Euler Committee of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (also known as the Euler Committee or the Euler Commission)[1] was founded in July 1907 with the objective of publishing the entire scientific production of Leonhard Euler in four series collectively called Opera Omnia (Collected Works in Latin).

The project represented a colossal challenge, as Euler is one of the most prolific scientists in history.[2] The edition of Euler’s Collected Works is close to completion today, with a total of 84 volumes planned for the entire collection. A total of 80 volumes have been published so far. Currently, three of the last four volumes of series IV are in active preparation.[3]

The gigantic effort of editing and publishing Euler's Opera Omnia required the continuous contribution of internationally acclaimed scientists for over a century, as well as the financial support of the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Academy of Sciences and numerous donations from Swiss corporations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler_Committee_of_the_Swiss_Academy_of_Sciences

User avatar
EvilYeti
Posts: 9222
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:55 am
Location: San Diego
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby EvilYeti » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:54 am

Anaxagoras wrote:I think it's still true in general even if there are exceptions to the rule.

I think Einstein did most of his most important work before 40.


What you are observing is the reality that most scientific breakthroughs are more the result of dumb luck vs. any sort of inherent skill/talent. And most of them happen to young scientists in a relatively new field where they are doing graduate work.

For example, my father worked with a Nobel Laureate, Arno Penzias. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_ ... _radiation

Important to note the keyword "accidental". Arno spent years futzing with the gear (including scraping pigeon shit off of it) to try and "fix" what he thought was signal interference. It was only through a chance encounter with another scientist that he realized what he had actually discovered.

User avatar
Witness
Posts: 12640
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm
Has thanked: 1346 times
Been thanked: 1881 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby Witness » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:35 am

Montpellier University has put his personal papers online (save private letters): https://grothendieck.umontpellier.fr/. (Kept by a colleague since 1990, then the children wanted to sell them, the usual story…)

Perhaps you'll find something revolutionary? :mrgreen:

Image

User avatar
shemp
Posts: 4416
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:16 pm
Title: gnat
Has thanked: 351 times
Been thanked: 262 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby shemp » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:02 am

He was Gandalf's twin?
"It is not I who is mad! It is I who is crazy!" -- Ren Hoek

"[... it seems most strange that... ] the Creator of Heaven and Earth resorted to the womb of a certain Jewish lady, grew there for nine months and was born as an infant, and afterwards grew up and was betrayed into the hands of his enemies who sentenced him to death and executed him, and that afterwards... he came to life and returned to his original place. The mind of a Jew, or any other person, simply cannot tolerate these assertions. If you have listened all your life to the priests who have filled your brain and the marrow of your bones with this doctrine, and it has settled into you because of that accustomed habit. [I would argue that if you were hearing these ideas for the first time, now, as a grown adult], you would never have accepted them." -- Rabbi Moses ben Nahman, defending the Talmud at the Disputation of Barcelona, July 1263.

"God is the supreme excuse for human adults to absolve themselves of any obligation to preserve natural resources for their own children during their lifetime." -- Gene Ray

User avatar
sparks
Posts: 12248
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Friar McWallclocks Bar -- Where time stands still while you lean over!
Has thanked: 1305 times
Been thanked: 386 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby sparks » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:27 am

No. He, like Einstein, discovered teh ULTIMaTE PoWERz but wisely didn't publish same feeling that yumans were not yet ready for same.

Unified Field Theory and such.
Nice things? Hell no!

Board Crumbmuffin.

User avatar
Witness
Posts: 12640
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm
Has thanked: 1346 times
Been thanked: 1881 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby Witness » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:45 pm

Some anecdotes:

– a mathematician friend said that G. "sterilized the fields he worked on" (by finding most of what there was to find, I presume);
– in a book I read a guy who attended one of his day-long seminars complained that during the meal break you'd better be seated near him as he didn't stop;
– I heard it said that the inhabitants of the small village where he retreated actually protected him from unwelcome visits.

Well, anecdotes… :|

User avatar
Doctor X
Posts: 64546
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah
Location: Your Mom
Has thanked: 2783 times
Been thanked: 1755 times

Re: Grothendieck died

Postby Doctor X » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:12 pm

Doctor X wrote:
Anaxagoras wrote:I think Einstein did most of his most important work before 40.


EPIC FAIL!

Sorry to make you . . . you know . . . in the rain.


Suck it, Anax!

[He predicted gravitational waves in 1916.--Ed.]

So?

[You may use your fingers.--Ed.]

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.

Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho

ImageWS CHAMPIONS X3!!! NBA CHAMPIONS!! ImageStanley Cup!Image SB CHAMPIONS X5!!!!! Image


Return to “Science, Mathematics & Technology”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CCBot [Bot] and 0 guests