By Connes A.
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Extra info for An interview with Alain Connes
For instance they have imported all of the Russian mathematicians at some point. GBK But the system is big enough to accommodate all these people this is also a good point. 31 C If the Soviet Union had not collapsed there would still be a great school of mathematics there with no pressure for money, no grants and they would be more successful than the US. In some sense once they migrated in the US they survived and did very well but I believed they would have bloomed better if not transplanted.
C It was back in 78 or something like that. GBK Then you announce that your were leaving? C You don’t have to. You just don’t go to the meetings, you just stop going. Another reason to leave was that they had a life style which was unpleasant. People would leave without saying good bye, being rude was the main feature of the founders they seemed to cherish. I found it very irritating. Clearly the founders did great things.. 44 GBK For sometime. C For some time. Their integration book is terrible but they produced these beautiful books in Algebra, and the whole series on Lie groups which is wonderful.
37 MK How do you choose your research problems? You seem to go back to problems you studied once and look at them with new tools that you discover. C Sure I never abandon problems. On problems that I care for I will be persistent. I think in mathematics it is extremely important to be persistent. The point is not being brighter or faster. Forget it! What is important is to never abandon a problem. MK Do you have mathematical heroes? GBK He is coming from Canada. He looks for heros! C The impression that I have after many years is that each human being is unique and could well be a hero of some kind depending on the circumstances.