MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Hello, i am sorry for my bad english, i am a french student in Paris Université Pierre et Marie Curie. First i precise my post is not a controversial one, i am reading "Récoltes et Semailles" by Alexandre Grothendieck, according to him Deligne is a great mathematician but he is also a plagiarist and i want to know an other point of view. Must Grothendieck's talk be moderated ? Is it just wrong ?

Don't hesitate to correct my english to help me to improve it.

share|cite|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Qiaochu Yuan, José Figueroa-O'Farrill, Reid Barton, Charles Siegel, Yemon Choi Feb 23 '10 at 23:30

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

In my opnion, this is not an appropriate question for MO, and it will not be appropriate to try to asnwer it. – Gil Kalai Feb 23 '10 at 22:27
This question is far too subjective and argumentative for MO. I'm voting to close. – Qiaochu Yuan Feb 23 '10 at 22:29
I don't see any harm in this sort of question. – Kevin Walker Feb 23 '10 at 22:48
I think that the question is okay, and of potential interest as history of mathematics, provided that we try to keep the discussion objective. – Greg Kuperberg Feb 23 '10 at 23:04
I am slightly torn on this, since I don't want blanket discouragement of attempts to discuss the history of mathematics; but I do feel that this particular discussion would generate more heat than light, or more hearsay than analysis. So I'm voting to close. – Yemon Choi Feb 23 '10 at 23:30


The source of your quote, I believe, is the 1978 article that Tate and Mazur wrote in Science. They gave a surprisingly readable description of Deligne's work on the final Weil Conjecture (so called "congruent Riemann Hypothesis" ). An interesting comment in that article is that Deligne asked one of his school teachers about mathematics and the teacher gave him (at the age of 13 or 14) the first several volumes of Bourbaki; apparently this was Deligne's first introduction to "higher" mathematics. Quite remarkable.

share|cite|improve this answer
Do you mean Tate and Mumford's article "Fields Medals (IV): An Instinct for the Key Idea" (Science 202 (4369) (1978), 737-739)? – Marko Amnell Feb 23 '10 at 23:25
I would also like to comment on Regenbogen's deleted answer (visible to users with 10k+ points): that very long article was self-published and not at all vetted. A number of people have called into question the author's assertions or the accuracy of his memory. Caveat lector. – Todd Trimble Sep 16 '12 at 19:21