Last October there was a conference held in Paris to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Galois. Some of the talks were quite interesting, giving an overview of the current state of areas of mathematics in which Galois theory plays a role, in particular the Langlands conjectures. The videos of the talks are now available, see here.

The closing talk, by Alain Connes, has a certain amount of wild-eyed speculation about the “cosmic Galois group”, of the sort that I believe has inspired Arkani-Hamed recently (see the previous posting).

Roy Lisker reports (here, here and here) about his visit to Paris to attend the conference, as well as take a look at Galois’s manuscripts.

**Update**: It appears the Connes video is no longer there. But on his web-site you can find the slides for the conference talk, as well as another talk about Galois for a more general audience.

Don’t get me wrong, but we’re living in 2012, and although Paris is still a major centre for mathematics research, it is intriguing to see Connes give a talk in French during what was advertised, and what indeed turned out to be, an international colloquium. I am fluent in French, but I am convinced this very interesting talk by Connes would have interested more people were it delivered in English. Just my 2 euro cents ðŸ˜‰

Sadly, it seems that the closing talk has disappeared!

fp,

That’s odd. I watched the first part of that…

Connes has put on his web-site his slides for the conference talk and another more popular talk. The first set of slides is the ones he was using in the video. I’ll add links to the posting for these.

May I suggest, as related reading, the monograph by P. Newmann “The Mathematical Writings of Ã‰variste Galois” (EMS, 2011) that in addition to English translations of Galois publications and manuscripts contains transcriptions of the original French articles, with commentaries and appropriate discussions of them. I just got a copy of it and I am enjoying it.

@theoreticalminimum

I don’t see what 2012 has to do with that?

I think France is in a sufficiently strong position in mathematics to allow the use of french for french speakers in an international conference. One which is, moreover, taking place in Paris. Interested people only have to read the transcript (or better, learn french ! un merveilleux langage.).

In addition, maybe the quality of the talk would have suffered from Connes giving it in english. His ideas might flow better in french, and this is what we are really interested in.

To answer Thomas:

I meant to point out that we’re living in times (2012 is the present year in the Gregorian calendar, as you are probably aware) when it would be understood that a talk in an international conference would be normally delivered in English. These days, most people learn sciences in English, and write papers in sciences in English.

I have spent many years learning French (I even studied mathematics in French at the ENS), so I don’t need you to tell me how nice a language French is. It is, in fact, my favourite. Besides, your “un merveilleux langage” is wrong; one says “une langue merveilleuse”. You should probably consider fixing your French ;-]

I have heard Connes give talks of the same topic in both English and French, and I can tell you, as far as he is concerned, the message never fails to come across. Anyway, my comment had to do with the fact that many of my mathematical friends would have liked to understand the content of the talk (which unfortunately looks to have disappeared off the webpage), but do not know French.

@tm

Let’s be constructive. Apparently you know and love both maths and french, and you also appreciate Connes’ work. So: you should really write down the trasncript. This would please your interested-but-non-french speaking friends much more than to pester on this blog, and it would even help them learn french.