# Category Archives: English

## Grothendieck on “the capacity to be alone”

Since then I’ve had the chance, in the world of mathematics that bid me welcome, to meet quite a number of people, both among my “elders” and among young people in my general age group, who were much more brilliant, … Continue reading

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## A translated excerpt from Grothendieck’s autobiography “Recoltes et Semailles”:

“Most mathematicians take refuge within a specific conceptual framework, in a “Universe” which seemingly has been fixed for all time – basically the one they encountered “ready made” at the time when they did their studies. They may be compared … Continue reading

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## The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

by Eugene Wigner “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences,” in Communications in Pure and Applied Mathematics, vol. 13, No. I (February 1960). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 1960 by John Wiley & Sons, … Continue reading

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## Kontsevich 《Beyond numbers》

Very often a mathematician considers his colleague from a different domain with disdain—what kind of a perverse joy can this guy find in his unmotivated and plainly boring subject? I’ve tried to learn the hidden beauty in various things, but still for … Continue reading

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## Is a theorem trivial because the proof is trivial?

Xiao-Gang Wen (MIT), Hao Zheng (PKU) and I finished a paper on the boundary-bulk relation for topological orders in any dimensions http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.01690. The proof is almost trivial with the tool we have introduced. But we think that the idea is quite … Continue reading

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## “The capacity to be alone” by Alexander Grothendieck

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## A visit to Stony Brook

s 3/1/2010: Without being informed before it actually happened, I found myself sitting with K. Costello, M. Douglas, J. Morgan, D. Sullivan, A.J. Tolland, B. Vallette etc. in the common room of the Math department at Stony Brook. It was supposed to … Continue reading

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