Tag: bourbaki

  • 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” […]

  • 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…

  • Map of the Parisian mathematical scene 1933-39

    . Michele Audin has written a book on the history of the Julia seminar (hat tip +Chandan Dalawat via Google+). The “Julia Seminar” was organised between 1933 and 1939, on monday afternoons, in the Darboux lecture hall of the Institut Henri Poincare. After good German tradition, the talks were followed by tea, “aimablement servi par…

  • On categories, go and the book $\in$

    A nice interview with Jacques Roubaud (the guy responsible for Bourbaki’s death announcement) in the courtyard of the ENS. He talks about go, categories, the composition of his book $\in$ and, of course, Grothendieck and Bourbaki. Clearly there are pop-math books like dedicated to $\pi$ or $e$, but I don’t know just one novel having…

  • Grothendieck’s Café

    “A story says that in a Paris café around 1955 Grothendieck asked his friends “what is a scheme?”. At the time only an undefined idea of “schéma” was current in Paris, meaning more or less whatever would improve on Weil’s foundations.” (McLarty in The Rising Sea) Finding that particular café in Paris, presumably in the…

  • 16 ways to capture a lion (in 1938)

    A classic among mathematical jokes is the paper in the August/September 1938 issue of the American Mathematical Monthly “A contribution to the mathematical theory of big game hunting” by one Hector Petard of Princeton who would marry, one year later, Nicolas Bourbaki’s daughter Betti. claimtoken-511b561b7a5a2 There are two main sources of information on the story…

  • The empty set according to bourbaki

    The footnote on page E. II.6 in Bourbaki’s 1970 edition of “Theorie des ensembles” reads If this is completely obvious to you, stop reading now and start getting a life. For the rest of us, it took me quite some time before i was able to parse this formula, and when i finally did, it…

  • From the Noether boys to Bourbaki

    Next year I’ll be teaching a master course on the “History of Mathematics” for the first time, so I’m brainstorming a bit on how to approach such a course and I would really appreciate your input. Rather than giving a chronological historic account of some period, I’d like this course to be practice oriented and…

  • #cestGrothendieck

    In Belgium the hashtag-craze of the moment is #cestjoelle. Joelle Milquet is perceived to be the dark force behind everything, from the crisis in Greece, over DSK, to your mother-in-law coming over this weekend? #cestjoelle. Sam Leith used the same meme in his book the coincidence engine. A hurricane assembling a passenger jet out of…

  • the Bourbaki code : offline

    If you’ve downloaded recently the little booklet containing the collection of my posts on the Bourbaki code, either in pdf- or epub-format, cherish it. I have taken all Bourbaki-code posts offline (that is, changed their visibility from ‘Public’ to ‘Private’). Here’s why. Though all speculations and the few ‘discoveries’ in these posts are entirely my…