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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Alexander Grothendieck and form

Alexander Grothendieck (1928-2014) was a German-French mathematician best known for his contributions to algebraic geometry. Mathematician Michael Atiyah said,


"No one but Grothendieck could have taken on algebraic geometry in the full generality he adopted and seen it through to success. It required courage, even daring, total self confidence and immense powers of concentration and hard work." (Michael Atiyah Collected Works: 2002-2013)


Mathematician Amir Aczel said,


"Alexander Grothendieck was very different from Weil in the way he approached mathematics: Grothendieck was nto just a mathematician who could understand the discipline and prove important results - he was a man who could create mathematics. And he did it alone." (The Artist and the Mathematician, 2009)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Grothendieck.




"I am not really doing research, just trying to cultivate myself." (


"Discovery is the privilege of the child: the child who has no fear of being once again wrong, of looking like an idiot, of not being serious, of not doing things like everyone else." (




"If there is one thing in mathematics that fascinates me more than anything else (and doubtless always has), it is neither 'number' nor 'size', but always form... the one that fascinates me more than any other and continues to fascinate me, is the structure hidden in mathematical things." (