Solomon Lefschetz

Solomon Lefschetz (1884-1973) fue uno de los titanes de las matemáticas del siglo XX.

Después de su retiro las visitas a México se  multiplicaron; en ellas no escatimaba esfuerzos en alentar a jóvenes y talentosos matemáticos mexicanos para continuar sus estudios de posgrado, contribuyendo con ésto en la formación de una pujante escuela matemática mexicana. Por su entusiasmo en estas actividades el gobierno de México le condecoró con la orden del Águila Azteca.

Cuando algún estudiante venía orgulloso con un astuto argumento para dar una prueba corta de alguno de los teoremas de Lefschetz, más que felicitarlo, dicen que le decía:

No me venga usted con sus pruebas bonitas. No nos molestamos con infantilismos.

 

Lefschetz valued independent thinking and originality above everything. He was, in fact, contemptuous of elegant or rigorous proofs of what he considered obvious points. He once dismissed a clever new proof of one of this theorems by saying, "Don't come to me with your pretty proofs. We don't bother with that baby stuff around here." Legend had it that he never wrote a correct proof or stated an incorrect theorem. His first comprehensive treatise on topology, a highly influential book in which he coined the term "algebraic topology," "hardly contains one completely correct proof. It was rumored that it had been written during one of Lefschetz' sabbaticals ... when his students did not have the opportunity to revise it."
Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind, 1998.

 

Pensamientos de Solomon Lefschetz

“It was my lot to plant the harpoon of algebraic topology into the body of the whale of algebraic geometry.”


- Solomon Lefschetz (In his famous 1924 monograph L ′analysis situs et la géométrie algébriques)

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