On 3 December 2022, the inaugural event of the recently founded Grothendieck Institute will take place at 3:00 p.m. in the Aula Magna of the Mondovì campus of the Polytechnic of Turin. The event, which is sponsored by the Municipality of Mondovì, will be held in Italian and will see the participation of numerous guests, including Johanna Grothendieck (Alexander’s daughter and member of the Institute’s Board of Directors), Laurent Lafforgue (member of the Institute’s Scientific Council), Gino Zaccaria (Professor of Philosophy at Bocconi University) and Nicoletta Sabadini (Professor of Computer Science at the University of Insubria). The round table and the subsequent exchange with the public will be moderated by national TV journalist Francesca Ronchin.
The title of the event is “All’ascolto della voce delle cose. Un progetto visionario per la matematica e non solo“. The expression “all’ascolto della voce delle cose” belongs to Grothendieck himself, who said “Ce qui fait la qualité de l’inventivité et de l’imagination du chercheur, c’est la qualité de son attention, à l’écoute de la voix des choses” (“The quality of a researcher’s inventiveness and imagination is the quality of his attention, to hearing the voices of things”):
Among the topics that will be addressed in the round table, in a way which is accessible to the general public, are basic research and its applications, scientific creativity, the figure of Alexander Grothendieck as an example of the kind of relationship that can exist between scientific studies, humanistic sensitivity and social commitment, abstraction and its relationship with art, ethics in scientific research.
In order to celebrate Jean-Jacques’ work on Copernicus and his reflections on categorial and Grothendieckian mathematics, I shall give (tomorrow at 16.00 French time) a talk entitled “De Copernic à Grothendieck: la puissance du point de vue fecond“, where I shall elaborate on the importance of fruitful points of view in Science by taking as prominent examples the Copernican revolution and Grothendieck’s unifying concept of topos.
For those who wish to attend the conference online, here are the Zoom credentials:
Tomorrow I shall leave for a short mission in Rome.
I will be a Jury member for the Ph.D. thesis “Dynamical topoi” by Jacopo Garofali (supervised by Michael McQuillan) at Tor Vergata University, for which I have also acted as a referee. The thesis contains interesting applications of toposes to dynamical systems. The defense will take place in the afternoon of the 28th.
I will also visit Sergio Barbarossa’s research group at “La Sapienza” University, giving a talk at their Department on the 27th.
I have been invited to give a talk on this occasion. The title of my presentation is Relative toposes as a generalization of locales. The abstract is as follows:
The aim of this talk is to present a way for representing relative toposes which naturally generalizes the construction of the topos of sheaves on a locale, and which is particularly effective for describing the morphisms between relative toposes in a concrete way. Our theoretical framework is based on the language of stacks and fibred sites, and provides, amongst other things, a unified setting for investigating the relationships between Grothendieck toposes as built from sites and elementary toposes as built from triposes.
Next week I will be in Domodossola giving a research course on topos theory for the 2022 edition of the International Alpine School of Mathematics and Physics.
The title of my course is Grothendieck toposes, invariants and ‘bridges’. The course will be an introduction to the theory of Grothendieck toposes, with a specific emphasis on the invariants that one can define on them. The point of view that we shall take is the one provided by the theory of toposes as ‘bridges’, which we shall present and illustrate through a selection of notable examples. We shall also discuss the application of these techniques to the investigation and discovery of dualities, equivalences and correspondences in mathematics and beyond.
The programme, which is available from the conference website, is very rich and consists of several contributions highlighting the relevance of Grothendieck’s ideas across many different fields of knowledge.
I will give my own talk, entitled “On the ‘unifying notion’ of topos“, on Friday 27th at 10 am PST (7pm CEST).
A final goal is to implement these techniques on a computer, to automatically generate mathematical results by exploiting the capacity of ‘bridges’ to significantly transform the level of complexity of notions and results. Back in 2010, when I first evoked this possibility in the paper The unification of Mathematics via Topos Theory, that idea was regarded with a lot of skepticism, as something almost too good to be true. Now, the time is ripe to start making that dream into reality.
Thanks again to all our speakers for accepting our invitation or sending us a talk proposal. This has made it possible for us to set up a very rich and varied programme.
We are very happy to have attracted so many people (533 registered participants) to this event, coming from different areas of mathematics, physics, computer science, philosophy and engineering, and also from industry. This illustrates the wide-ranging impact of toposes, and the increasing interest in the subject, across different fields of knowledge.
We hope that this event will further stimulate interdisciplinary research inspired by topos-theoretic ideas, and its applications in different fields. The participants in the conference, as well as any other person interested in toposes, are warmly encouraged to join our community and exchange with each other through the Forum.
Many thanks to IHES and the University of Insubria for their support in organizing this event; the videos of all the talks and course lectures of “Toposes online” will be made available on the YouTube channel of IHES.
We look forward to seeing many of you online and on the forum!