The Unravelers: Mathematical Snapshots (Text Only) by Jean-Francois Dars

By Jean-Francois Dars

Via revealing images and accompanying textual content, this booklet deals a fascinating and lovely glimpse into the interior lifetime of the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES). The IHES in France is an institute of complicated learn in arithmetic and theoretical physics with an curiosity in epistemology and the background of technology. It offers awfully talented scientists with a spot the place they could dedicate themselves totally to their learn, freed from educating and administrative constraints, and gives them the chance to ask viewers with whom they want to paintings.

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Modular nodules are born by Lorenz's geometric model. It remains to be proved! Later! Certainty. Madrid, August 24th 2006, llh44`. In one minute I shall begin my conference at the International Congress. Anxiety. Blois, July 22nd 2007. With thirteen other mathematicians I have just spent a week reading and commenting on the nineteenth-century texts from which came the proof of the theorem of uniformization in 1907. A whole chain of mathematicians, across several centuries. Continuity. ENS Lyon, September 3rd 2007.

That illustrates one aspect of mathematics: to prove is not to explain. Even if you follow the calculations line by line, you probably still won't understand why the result is true. Here is another proof which is more enlightening; it consists in trying to understand why the mid perpendiculars are special. The mid perpendicular of a segment AB is the sum of the points which are at same distance from A and from B. 98 indeed concurrent. When we look at things from the right angle, they become much simpler!

Lyon, January 1st 1998. It's my turn to direct the lab. Will I be able to do it? Hesitation. IHES, September 1999. I accept the job of director of mathematical publications at the IHES. Responsibility. ENS Lyon, December 1999. Sorin, my seventh student, defends his thesis on rigid structures. Happiness. ENS Lyon, July 2001. The colloquium AMS-SMF has just ended. Six hundred participants. All the organisation undertaken in good spirits by the whole lab. What a lab! Pride. Ostend, June 1st 2005, four o'clock in the morning.

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