Volume: 97; 2014; 324 pp; Hardcover
MSC: Primary 14; Secondary 01; 13; 19; 46; 55
Print ISBN: 978-1-57146-282-4
Product Code: INPR/97
List Price: $85.00
Individual Member Price: $68.00
Alexandre Grothendieck: A Mathematical PortraitShare this page
Edited by Leila Schneps
A publication of International Press of Boston, Inc
Mathematics students and researchers often react to Alexandre
Grothendieck's legendary fame in the world of mathematics by asking just what
the man did to earn so brilliant a reputation. But as legitimate as it is,
the question is difficult to answer, because of the particularly abstruse
nature of his mathematics and the wealth of notions he introduced, some of
which have become so natural and so familiar to mathematicians that it is easy
to forget that there was ever an actual individual who first brought them out
into the light, whereas others are so abstract that even experts may take years
to grasp them. It is not merely a matter of stating some powerful, striking
result that he proved, although there are many of these. But more deeply,
Grothendieck's work is based on a whole system of recasting old ideas in new
ways, and it transformed the entire area of algebraic geometry essentially
This book attempts to provide a reasonable explanation of what made Grothendieck the mathematician that he was. Thirteen articles written by people who knew him personally—some who even studied or collaborated with him over a period of many years—portray Grothendieck at work, explaining the nature of his thought through descriptions of his discoveries and contributions to various subjects, and with impressions, memories, anecdotes, and some biographical elements. Seeing him through the eyes of those who knew him well, the reader will come away with a better understanding of what made Grothendieck unique.
A publication of International Press of Boston, Inc. Distributed worldwide by the American Mathematical Society.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Alexandre Grothendieck: A Mathematical Portrait
Undergraduate and graduate students and research mathematicians interested in algebraic geometry.
The present book is a compendium or a collage of articles having to do with the different facets of Grothendieck both as a hugely important and influential scholar and as an ultimately enigmatic individual with a remarkable history, including a past filled with childhood tragedy and strife, and a present full of mystery. There are articles by mathematicians, experts all, on the major themes of Grothendieck as an unsurpassed algebraic geometer.
The book under review is irresistible to anyone who has even a mild interest in and acquaintance with algebraic geometry … and who is fascinated by Grothendieck's remarkable life, including a trajectory from a fatherless childhood as a refugee from the Nazis sheltered in southern France, to early adulthood as an outsider who nonetheless absorbed mathematics through his pores, to a stellar career as one of the unquestioned grand masters of algebraic geometry, doing things in magical and radical ways in a style all his own, and then to the mystery that he now poses. The authors represented in this "Mathematical Portrait" are uniquely positioned to comment not only on Grothendieck's mathematics but on the man himself, his personality, his influence (and his influence on them), and his uniqueness. Yes indeed, I think the book is altogether irresistible.
-- Michael Berg, MAA Reviews
… a fascinating (if technical) collection of essays about the man who wholly remade mathematics in the middle of the 20th century …
-- Jordan Ellenberg, The Wall Street Journal
The remarkable life of Grothendieck has shaped not only the work but also the lives of the authors in this book and many more. What the readers will find in this fascinating collection of articles is not only valuable overviews of aspects of Grothendieck's work but vivid glimpses of what it was like to be drawn into Grothendieck's orbit.
-- Jeremy Gray, Metascience, November 2014, Springer