Category: tBC

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : Pelvoux

    Pelvoux is a former commune (now merged into Vallouise-Pelvoux) in the Hautes-Alpes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. No less than five summer-Bourbaki congresses took place in Pelvoux: La Tribu 25 : Congres oecumenique de Pelvoux (June 25th – July 8th 1951) La Tribu 28 : Congres de la motorisation de l’ane […]

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : Amboise

    Between 1955 and 1960 four Bourbaki congresses were held in Amboise, a small market town on the river Loire, and once home of the French royal court. La Tribu 38, from March 11th-17th 1956, ‘Congres des trois angles plats’ La Tribu 40, fromOctober 7th-14th 1956, ‘Congres de l’intelligence peu commune’ La Tribu 41, from March…

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : Sallieres-les-bains

    For three summers in a row, Bourbaki held its congres in ‘Sallieres-les-bains’, located near Die, in the Drôme. La Tribu 36, from June 27th till July 9th 1955 La Tribu 39, from June 24th till July 7th 1956, ‘Congres des Tapis’ La Tribu 42, from June 23rd till July 7th 1957, ‘Congres oecumenique du diabolo’…

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : Marlotte

    During the 1950ties, the Bourbakistas usually scheduled three meetings in the countryside. In the spring and autumn at places not too far from Paris (Royaumont, Celles-sur-plaines, Marlotte, Amboise…), in the summer they often went to the mountains (Pelvoux, Murols, Sallieres-les-bains,…). Being a bit autistic, they preferred to return to the same places, rather than to…

  • The (somewhat less) Secret Bourbaki Archive

    It has been many, many years since I’ve last visited the Bourbaki Archives. The underground repository of the Bourbaki Secret Archives is a storage facility built beneath the cave of the former Capoulade Cafe. Given its sporadic use by staff and scholars, the entire space – including the Gallery of all intermediate versions of every…

  • Finnegans Wake’s geometry lesson

    The literary sensation that spring of 1939 no doubt was the publication of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. On May 4th 1939 FW was published simultaneously by Faber and Faber in London and by Viking Press in New York, after seventeen years of composition. In 1928-29, Joyce started publishing individual chapters from FW, then known…

  • Princeton’s own Bourbaki

    In the first half of 1937, Andre Weil visited Princeton and introduced some of the postdocs present (notably Ralph Boas, John Tukey, and Frank Smithies) to Poldavian lore and Bourbaki’s early work. In 1935, Bourbaki succeeded (via father Cartan) to get his paper “Sur un théorème de Carathéodory et la mesure dans les espaces topologiques”…

  • Cambridge, spring 1939

    One of the few certainties we have on the Bourbaki-Petard wedding invitation is that it was printed in, and distributed out of Cambridge in the spring of 1939, presumably around mid April. So, what was going on, mathematically, in and around Trinity and St. John’s College, at that time? Well, there was the birth of…

  • the Bourbaki code revisited

    The fictitious life of Nicolas Bourbaki remains a source of fascination to some. A few weeks ago, Michael Barany wrote an article for the JStor Daily The mathematical pranksters behind Nicolas Bourbaki. Here’s one of the iconic early Bourbaki pictures, taken at the Dieulefit-meeting in 1938. More than a decade ago I discovered the exact…

  • Where’s Bourbaki’s tomb?

    In according to Groth IV.22 we tried to solve one of the riddles contained in Roubaud’s announcement of Bourbaki’s death. Today, we’ll try our hands on the next one: where was Bourbaki buried? The death announcement gives this fairly opaque clue: “The burial will take place in the cemetery for Random Functions (metro stations Markov…