Posts Tagged: bourbaki

  • france, math, stories

    Map of the Parisian mathematical scene 1933-39

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    . 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… Read more »

  • featured, stories

    On categories, go and the book $\in$

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    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… Read more »

  • geometry, stories

    Grothendieck’s Café

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    “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… Read more »

  • stories

    16 ways to capture a lion (in 1938)

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    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… Read more »

  • math, stories

    The empty set according to bourbaki

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    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… Read more »

  • stories

    From the Noether boys to Bourbaki

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    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… Read more »

  • stories

    #cestGrothendieck

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    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… Read more »

  • stories

    the Bourbaki code : offline

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    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… Read more »

  • web

    eBook – ePub : comments

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    There were some great comments by Peter before this post was taken offline. So, here they are, once again.

  • stories

    If Bourbaki=WikiLeaks then Weil=Assange

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    In an interview with readers of the Guardian, December 3rd 2010, Julian Assange made a somewhat surprising comparison between WikiLeaks and Bourbaki, sorry, The Bourbaki (sic) : “I originally tried hard for the organisation to have no face, because I wanted egos to play no part in our activities. This followed the tradition of the… Read more »

  • stories

    What happened on the Bourbaki wedding day?

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    Early on in this series we deciphered part of the Bourbaki wedding invitation The wedding was planned on “le 3 Cartembre, an VI” or, for non-Bourbakistas, June 3rd 1939. But, why did they choose that particular day? Because the wedding-invitation-joke was concocted sometime between mid april and mid may 1939, the most probable explanation clearly… Read more »

  • stories

    Bourbaki and the miracle of silence

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    The last pre-war Bourbaki congress, held in september 1938 in Dieulefit, is surrounded by mystery. Compared to previous meetings, fewer documents are preserved in the Bourbaki archives and some sentences in the surviving notules have been made illegible. We will have to determine the exact location of the Dieulefit-meeting before we can understand why this… Read more »

  • stories

    Who was ‘le P. Adique’?

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    Last year we managed to solve the first few riddles of the Bourbaki code, but several mysteries still remain. For example, who was the priest performing the Bourbaki-Petard wedding ceremony? The ‘faire part’ identifies him as ‘le P. Adique, de l’Ordre des Diophantiens’. As with many of these Bourbaki-jokes, this riddle too has several layers…. Read more »

  • stories

    Where’s Bourbaki’s Escorial?

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    Early 1936, Andre Weil and Evelyne Gillet made a pre-honeymooning trip to Spain and visited El Escorial. Weil was so taken by the place that he planned the next Bourbaki-conference to be held in a nearby college. However, the Bourbakis never made it to to Spain that summer as the Spanish Civil War broke out… Read more »

  • stories

    Olivier Messiaen & Mathieu 12

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    To mark the end of 2009 and 6 years of blogging, two musical compositions with a mathematical touch to them. I wish you all a better 2010! Remember from last time that we identified Olivier Messiaen as the ‘Monsieur Modulo’ playing the musical organ at the Bourbaki wedding. This was based on the fact that… Read more »

  • stories

    Seriously now, where was the Bourbaki wedding?

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    A few days before Halloween, Norbert Dufourcq (who died december 17th 1990…), sent me a comment, containing lots of useful information, hinting I did get it wrong about the church of the Bourbali wedding in the previous post. Norbert Dufourcq, an organist and student of Andre Machall, the organist-in-charge at the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church in 1939,… Read more »

  • stories

    Where was the Bourbaki wedding?

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    I’m pretty certain I got the intended date & time of the Bourbaki-Pétard wedding right : June 3rd 1939 at 12h. Finding the exact location of the wedding-ceremony is an entirely different matter. And, quite probably, we are reading way too much in these pranks of the Weil-clan. Still, it’s fun trying to find an… Read more »

  • stories

    the bumpy road to the first Bourbaki congress

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    The first Bourbaki congress took eventually place in Besse-en-Chandesse. But, its organization suffered from the ‘usual’ inter-departemental fighting, and also from a power-struggle within the group itself. On many issues de Possel and André Weil were on opposite sides, and it didn’t really help that there was a woman involved… Because Mandelbrojt, de Possel and… Read more »

  • stories

    Where is the Royal Poldavian Academy?

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    Among the items found on Andre Weil at the time of his arrest was “a packet of calling cards belonging to Nicolas Bourbaki, member of the Royal Academy of Poldavia”. But then, where is the Royal Poldavian Academy situated? Well, surely in the Kingdom of Poldavia, which is a very strange country indeed, its currency… Read more »

  • stories

    When was the Bourbaki wedding?

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    It’s great fun trying to decode some of the puns contained in Betti Bourbaki’s wedding invitation. Below a photograph, taken on May 13th 1939, of three of the practical jokers (from left to right : Ralph Boas, Frank Smithies and Andre Weil), the others were Claude Chabauty, Weil’s wife Eveline and Louis Bouckaert (from Louvain)…. Read more »

  • stories

    The wedding invitation that nearly killed Andre Weil

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    Andre Weil wrote about his arrest as a Russian spy in november 1939 : “The manuscripts they found appeared suspicious – like those of Sophus Lie, arrested on charges of spying in Paris, in 1870. They also found several rolls of stenotypewritten paper at the bottom of a closet. When I said these were the… Read more »