👓 Vladimir Voevodsky, 1966 – 2017 | John Carlos Baez

Read Vladimir Voevodsky, 1966 - 2017 by John Carlos Baez (Google+)
This mathematician died last week. He won the Fields Medal in 2002 for proving the Milnor conjecture in a branch of algebra known as algebraic K-theory. He continued to work on this subject until he helped prove the more general Bloch-Kato conjecture in 2010. Proving these results ‚ÄĒ which are too technical to easily describe to nonmathematicians! ‚ÄĒ required him to develop a dream of Grothendieck: the theory of motives. Very roughly, this is a way of taking the space of solutions of a collection of polynomial equations and chopping it apart into building blocks. But the process of 'chopping up', and also these building blocks, called 'motives', are very abstract ‚ÄĒ nothing simple or obvious.

There’s some interesting personality and history in this short post of John’s.

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