Thursday, December 22, 2005

The father of Bott periodicity died

Via David G.

Raoul Bott - a Harvard mathematician who was fighting against cancer in San Diego and who discovered, among other things, the Bott periodicity theorem in the late 1950s - died the night of December 19-20, 2005.
His mother and aunts spoke Hungarian. However, his Czech stepfather did not, and therefore the principal language at home was German. At the high school, on the other hand, he had to speak Slovak. His nanny was English which helped young Bott to learn authentic English. To summarize this paragraph: one should not be surprised that Bott hated foreign languages.

Mathematics was much more important language for him, and some people remember him very well. See articles by Jacques Distler, Peter Woit, and Sean Carroll.

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