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Harish-Chandra (11 October 1923 – 16 October 1983) was an Indian American mathematician and physicist who did fundamental work in representation theory, especially harmonic analysis on semisimple Lie groups.


  • I have often pondered over the roles of knowledge or experience, on the one hand, and imagination or intuition, on the other, in the process of discovery. I believe that there is a certain fundamental conflict between the two, and knowledge, by advocating caution, tends to inhibit the flight of imagination. Therefore, a certain naiveté, unburdened by conventional wisdom, can sometimes be a positive asset.

Quotes about Harish-Chandra[edit]

  • Another project which keeps the Bourbaki name alive is the Seminaire Nicolas Bourbaki, which is a series of seminars, about 12–20 per year, on contemporary mathematics started in 1948. It is considered an honour to be invited to give a seminary in this seminar in this series; the only Indian to figure in the seminar so far is Harish Chandra, who gave a talk in the 1957–58 series and, apparently, thus lost the chance of winning the Fields medal in 1958! (Siegel was the chairman of the Fields medal committee in the ICM 1958!)

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