A little portrait of Hermann Weyl

“A Proteus who transforms himself ceaselessly in order to elude the grip of his adversary, not becoming himself again until after the final victory.” Thus, Hermann Weyl (1885-1955) appeared to his eminent younger colleagues Claude Chevalley and Andre Weil. Surprising words to describe a mathematician, but apt for the amazing variety of shapes and forms in which Weyl’s extraordinary abilities revealed themselves, for “among all the mathematicians who began their working life in the twentieth century, Hermann Weyl was the one who made major contributions in the greatest number of different fields. He alone could stand comparison with the last great universal mathematicians of the nineteenth century, David Hilbert and Henri Poincare,” in the view of Freeman Dyson. “He was indeed not only a great mathematician but a great mathematical writer,” wrote another colleague.





Nalin Pithwa

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