Robert Langlands

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robert Langlands

Robert Phelan Langlands (born October 6, 1936) is a Canadian mathematician. He is best known as the founder of the Langlands program, a vast web of conjectures and results connecting representation theory and automorphic forms to the study of Galois groups in number theory. He is an emeritus professor and occupies Albert Einstein's office at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.


"Mathematical retrospections," 2013[edit]

Robert Langlands. "Mathematical retrospections," in: Mariana Cook ed. (2013), Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World.

  • Although there are at present many occupations that require a good deal of skill and training in advanced mathematics, mathematics itself is still often regarded as a curious profession demanding singular talents and a singular personality.
    • p. 142
  • Mathematical maturity is anyhow an uncertain concept, for the mind’s natural competence seems to change with age, its purview variable.
    • p. 142
  • What I have achieved has been largely a matter of chance. Many problems I thought about at length with no success. With other problems, there was the inspiration—indeed, some that astound me today. Certainly the best times were when I was alone with mathematics, free of ambition and of pretense, and indifferent to the world.
    • p. 142

Quotes about Robert Langlands[edit]

  • He was a visionary. He pointed us into a direction where we can go and find the truth, find out what’s really going on. It’s about seeing the world in the right light.
  • He’s like a modern-day Einstein. But everybody knows about Einstein and nobody knows about Langlands. Why is that?
  • He’s clearly one of the most important living mathematicians. His legend precedes him. But the question is, ‘Do mathematicians really know what he has done?’ It’s like having a famous writer but no one has read his books.
  • He would become fluent in French, Russian, German and Turkish, and well-versed in their literature. Frenkel, who exchanges emails with Langlands in Russian, speculates that his versatility with languages may have had something to do with his ability to see connections in disparate fields of mathematics.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about: