FOM: Re: Re: General intellectual interest/challenges

Lou van den Dries vddries at
Fri Dec 19 15:12:11 EST 1997

Sure, there are prophets in mathematics, Riemann, Poincare,
and in our days, Grothendieck and Ecalle. There have just appeared
two volumes around Grothendieck's "Esquisse d'un Programme"
(complete with English translation) in the London Math. Society
Lecture Note series. The introductions to Ecalle's books have
also this visionary character. 

And how about Witten? (I don't know enough about his work, but
I have heard other people talk of it in terms of being prophetic.)

But one should be careful with the religious parallel. The deep
insights of these mathematical prophets have to be vindicated by
clear understanding and often hard work by those inspired by them.

-Lou van den Dries-

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