Gelfand, the Renaissance Man

An outstanding collection of articles is available in the January 2013 issue of the Notices of the AMS:

Remembering I.M. Gelfand

(in case the link will not function,here is a pdf: rnoti-p24).

A true mathematician, not as mathematicians usually are these days, but as they should strive to be. Here is  a quote about his legendary seminar (taken from  page  26 of the linked paper):

“My seminar is for high school students, decent undergraduates, bright graduates, and outstanding professors.”

In his article, I.M. Singer compares him to Cezanne and Matisse. Is this becoming a fashion? See Cezanne and Perelman.

I would not compare him with Cezanne, though.  Cezanne was  a reclusive,  throwing his paintings as Perelman put his papers on the arXiv, … My suggestion is to compare Gelfand with Leonardo da Vinci, because he really was a Renaissance Man.


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