I have recently been interested in the history of French Mathematics especially in Grothendieck and his school. I have also been fascinated with Grothendieck's personality.

It is known that during Grothendieck's IHES years is his dedication to mathematics was legendary as attested by many of his colleagues. However, I have also heard that during times he would be so concentrated on mathematical research that he would forget/neglect to sleep and eat.

Is that true?

Could you provide references.

P.S. I am interested in this questions since I am studying psychology and examining the personalities of influential mathematicians. I have to write on the subject. Your help is greatly appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the question about Grothendieck, someone previously unknown to me. I haven nothing to share about him. What may be of interest is the story of Paul Dirac, the strangest man in 20th c physics who gets a nice biography here youtube.com/… $\endgroup$
    – DJohnson
    Jul 6, 2023 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ The MacTutor entry on Grothendieck includes two relevant quotations from colleagues - namely Valentin Poénaru and Ronnie Brown. $\endgroup$
    – nwr
    Jul 6, 2023 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ See also this article by Allyn Jackson: ams.org/notices/200410/fea-grothendieck-part2.pdf $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2023 at 11:53


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