I’m heading out soon for a 10 day vacation in the Rocky Mountains, blogging likely to change from sparse to non-existent for the next couple weeks. I’ve come across the following things that people with an interest in the recent history of mathematics may find worthwhile:
- S. T. Yau over the past year has organized a series of talks on the recent history of mathematics, featuring prominent people in the subject giving expository talks on a topic, sometimes writing something up. The talks are available here, the write-ups here. I can especially recommend Nigel Hitchin’s detailed explanation of the work of Michael Atiyah relevant to physics, much of which he was personally involved in.
- Lieven Le Bruyn at neverendingbooks points to some wonderful French math YouTube videos. Don’t miss Alain Connes interviewing Serre, with Serre explaining that he doesn’t know (or care) what a topos is.
- For a good account of the fascinating life of Alexander Grothendieck, there’s Luca Signorelli’s The Man of the Circular Ruins. I hadn’t realized that some of the weirder writings from Grothendieck’s later life are now readily available, for instance La Clef des Songes.
- For a long recent account by Langlands both of his recent ideas about geometric Langlands and his fascination with languages (including White Russian language instructors), see this letter to Yvan Saint-Aubin.