The May issue of the Notices of the AMS has memorial articles about two great mathematicians who passed away recently. The first is about Serge Lang and includes contributions from many people, including my Columbia colleague Dorian Goldfeld. When Lang died last September, I wrote a short posting here, but didn’t want to go into much detail. He was a remarkable man, with many facets, but also famously difficult. The Notices article does him justice and is well worth reading.
In the same issue, Loring Tu has the first part of a long article about Raoul Bott, who died last December. It’s a wonderful article concentrating on Bott’s mathematical career and describing in detail the setting of some of his most important work.
Today I also ran across the sad story of the death of John Brodie. Brodie was a theorist who got his Ph.D. from Princeton and worked on gauge theory and string theory. Evidently he suffered from bipolar disorder, which was a contributing factor in his death. I never met him, but had seen some of his papers. Perhaps some of the readers here knew him personally.