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. And among the thousand-and-one faces whereby form chooses to reveal itself to us, the one that fascinates me more than any other and continues to fascinate me, is the structure hidden in mathematical things. Alexander Grothendieck

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. And among the thousand-and-one faces whereby form chooses to reveal itself to us, the one that fascinates me more than any other and continues to fascinate me, is the structure hidden in mathematical things.

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. Alexander Grothendieck

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.

The question you raise, 'How can such a formulation lead to computations?' doesn't bother me in the least! Throughout my whole life as a mathematician, the possibility of making explicit, elegant computations has always come out by itself, as a byproduct of a thorough conceptual understanding of what was going on. Thus I never bothered about whether what would come out would be suitable for this or that, but just tried to understand - and it always turned out that understanding was all that mattered. Alexander Grothendieck

The question you raise, 'How can such a formulation lead to computations?' doesn't bother me in the least! Throughout my whole life as a mathematician, the possibility of making explicit, elegant computations has always come out by itself, as a byproduct of a thorough conceptual understanding of what was going on. Thus I never bothered about whether what would come out would be suitable for this or that, but just tried to understand - and it always turned out that understanding was all that mattered.

I am not really doing research, just trying to cultivate myself. Alexander Grothendieck

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

A different image came to me a few weeks ago. The unknown thing to be known appeared to me as some stretch of earth or hard marl, resisting penetration... the sea advances insensibly in silence, nothing seems to happen, nothing moves, the water is so far off you hardly hear it... yet finally it surrounds the resistant substance. Alexander Grothendieck

A different image came to me a few weeks ago. The unknown thing to be known appeared to me as some stretch of earth or hard marl, resisting penetration... the sea advances insensibly in silence, nothing seems to happen, nothing moves, the water is so far off you hardly hear it... yet finally it surrounds the resistant substance.

The introduction of the cipher 0 or the group concept was general nonsense too, and mathematics was more or less stagnating for thousands of years because nobody was around to take such childish steps. Alexander Grothendieck

The introduction of the cipher 0 or the group concept was general nonsense too, and mathematics was more or less stagnating for thousands of years because nobody was around to take such childish steps.

Born: March 28, 1928

Died: November 13, 2014

Profession: Mathematician

Create an account to follow or to post