I just heard that mathematician Serge Lang passed away this past Monday. Lang was a well-known number theorist and algebraist, a member of Bourbaki and recipient of the 1960 AMS Cole Prize. He was a professor here in the Columbia math department for fifteen years, leaving in 1972 for Yale, where he spent the rest of his career. Lang was an amazingly prolific author of mathematics textbooks, and famous for his outspoken views and “files” on various controversies. In recent years some of these had become increasingly cranky, especially on the topic of AIDS. He was truly one of the most remarkable characters of the mathematics research community.
Update: There’s an obituary at the Yale Daily News (thanks to David Goss for pointing this out).
Update: The New York Times ran an obituary of Lang today.
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