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Alexander Grothendieck, who died on Nov. 13 at the age of 86, was a visionary who captivated the collective psyche of his peers like no one else. To say he was the No. 1 mathematician of the second half of the 20th century cannot begin to do justice to him or his body of work. Let’s resist the temptation to assign a number to a man of numbers. There are deeper lessons to be learned from this extraordinary human being and his extraordinary life.

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In mathematics, he revolutionized the field known as algebraic geometry. (1)

Once upon a time there was a wise man. Who burned 25,000 pages of manuscripts before disappearing from the face of the Earth.

Once upon a time there were people who were important.

Not for what they published but for what they did not.

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Mathematics, Babel, 数学!

We lack those people today.
Burn all the bookstores.
Discover yourself…

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