Grothendieck Institute

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.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Videos of the Grothendieck Conference

The videos of the conference in honour of Grothendieck held in May at Chapman University are now available from Youtube.

My own talk at the conference was entitled “The unifying ‘notion’ of topos“:

The slides can be downloaded here. A written text of my presentation will be available soon.

Grothendieck conference

From tomorrow, Tuesday the 24th of May, until Saturday the 28th of May, there will be, physically at Chapman University and virtually on Zoom, a conference celebrating Grothendieck’s work.

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).

The Zoom link to the conference is
Meeting ID: 968 3948 3231

Looking forward to seeing many of you attending the conference!

Grothendieck: la moisson

The podcast of today’s broadcast at France Culture “Grothendieck: la moisson” is already available on the Radio website, which also provides several references for the general public to learn more about toposes and Grothendieck’s vision.

The associated Twitter account can be accessed here.

Thanks again to Nicolas Martin and all the staff of “La méthode Scientifique” for their invitation! I look forward to join you again in a few weeks, always with Alain Connes and Laurent Lafforgue, for the second part of the broadcast.

An update: a transcription of the emission by Denise Chemla is available here.

An interview for France Culture

On Thursday 17 February, from 16 to 17 French time, I will be a guest, together with Alain Connes and Laurent Lafforgue, at the scientific radio broadcast La Méthode Scientifique of France Culture, to talk about Grothendieck and crucial themes addressed in his recently published text Récoltes et Semailles, such as toposes and ethical issues in mathematics.

Looking forward to it!

Ontologies and toposes

The slides of the double talk given by Laurent Lafforgue and myself at the recent Huawei workshop on semantics are now available:

Our talk is based on an expository article written by AI theorists on the general theme of “ontology” and “knowledge representation”. We explain that the theory of Grothendieck toposes, of their geometric presentations by sites and of their linguistic descriptions in terms of first-order theories provides the means to incarnate in mathematical objects amenable to computations what could have seemed at first sight loose philosophical views. We present a number of important basic ideas about Grothendieck toposes and motivations for beginning to study them, and give an idea of the possibilities of the theory of “toposes as bridges” and its significance for the problem of “knowledge representation”.

Récoltes et Semailles

The famous autobiographical work in two volumes by Alexander Grothendieck has just been officially published by Gallimard!

This book is a must for anyone who wants to learn about the vision inspiring Grothendieck’s discoveries and reflect on ethical and sociological issues in mathematics and beyond.

I have been invited by the Editor to contribute a short text presenting the book, to be included in a booklet sold together with it and also containing texts by other mathematicians. Here is it:

An update: Sayantan Roy @sayantan-roy has kindly translated my text into English. Here is his translation:

Lectures Grothendieckiennes

The volume of proceedings of the lecture series Lectures Grothendieckiennes given in the academic year 2017-2018 at the Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris) is now available!

This book, which celebrates Grothendieck’s mathematical heritage, is prefaced by Peter Scholze and features contributions by Pierre Cartier, Olivia Caramello, Alain Connes, Laurent Lafforgue, Colin McLarty, Gilles Pisier, Jean-Jacques Szczeciniarz and Fernando Zalamea.

My contribution is available here:

The videos of the lectures are available from YouTube at this link.