Category: stories

  • Leila Schneps on Grothendieck

    If you have neither the time nor energy to watch more than one interview or talk about Grothendieck’s life and mathematics, may I suggest to spare that privilege for Leila Schneps’ talk on ‘Le génie de Grothendieck’ in the ‘Thé & Sciences’ series at the Salon Nun in Paris. I was going to add some […]

  • Cartan meets Lacan

    In the Grothendieck meets Lacan-post we did mention that Alain Connes wrote a book together with Patrick Gauthier-Lafaye “A l’ombre de Grothendieck et de Lacan, un topos sur l’inconscient”, on the potential use of Grothendieck’s toposes for the theory of unconsciousness, proposed by the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. A bit more on that book you…

  • Bourbaki, Brassens, Hula Hoops and Coconuts

    More than ten years ago, when I ran a series of posts on pre-WW2 Bourbaki congresses, I knew most of the existing B-literature. I’m afraid I forgot most of it, thereby missing opportunities to spice up a dull post (such as yesterday’s). Right now, I need facts about the infamous ACNB and its former connection…

  • From Weil’s foundations to schemes

    Last time, we’ve seen that the first time ‘schemes’ were introduced was in ‘La Tribu’ (the internal Bourbaki-account of their congresses) of the May-June 1955 congress in Chicago. Here, we will focus on the events leading up to that event. If you always thought Grothendieck invented the word ‘schemes’, here’s what Colin McLarty wrote: “A…

  • The birthplace of schemes

    Wikipedia claims: “The word scheme was first used in the 1956 Chevalley Seminar, in which Chevalley was pursuing Zariski’s ideas.” and refers to the lecture by Chevalley ‘Les schemas’, given on December 12th, 1955 at the ENS-based ‘Seminaire Henri Cartan’ (in fact, that year it was called the Cartan-Chevalley seminar, and the next year Chevalley…

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : La Ciotat (2)

    Rereading the Grothendieck-Serre correspondence I found a letter from Serre to Grothendieck, dated October 22nd 1958, which forces me to retract some claims from the previous La Ciotat post. Serre writes this ten days after the second La Ciotat-congress (La Tribu 46), held from October 5th-12th 1958: “The Bourbaki meeting was very pleasant; we all…

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : Celles-sur-Plaine

    Bourbaki held His Spring-Congresses between 1952 and 1954 in Celles-sur-Plaine in the Vosges department. La Tribu 27, ‘Congres croupion des Vosges’ (March 8th-16th, 1952) La Tribu 30, ‘Congres nilpotent’ (March 1st-8th, 1953) La Tribu 33, ‘Congres de la tangente’ (March 28th-April 3rd, 1954) As we can consult the Bourbaki Diktat of the first two meetings,…

  • Charlie Hebdo on Grothendieck

    Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly newspaper, victim of a terroristic raid in 2015, celebrates the 30th anniversary of its restart in 1992 (it appeared earlier from 1969 till 1981). Charlie’s collaborators have looked at figures who embody, against all odds, freedom, and one of the persons they selected is Alexandre Grothendieck, ‘Alexandre Grothendieck –…

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : La Ciotat

    Two Bourbaki-congresses were organised at the Côte d’Azur, in La Ciotat, claiming to have one of the most beautiful bays in the world. La Tribu 35, ‘Congres du banc public’ (February 27th – March 6th, 1955) La Tribu 46, ‘Congres du banquet auxiliaire’ (October 5th-12th, 1958) As is the case for all Bourbaki-congresses after 1953,…

  • Grothendieck’s haircut

    Browsing through La Tribu (the internal report of Bourbaki-congresses), sometimes you’ll find an answer to a question you’d never ask? Such as: “When did Grothendieck decide to change his looks?” Photo on the left is from 1951 taken by Paulo Ribenboim, on a cycling tour to Pont-a-Mousson (between Nancy and Metz). The photo on the…