Andre Weil

The Weil Conjectures

Brian Hayes read

Sample: “. . . . Before going further I should make clear that The Weil Conjectures is not a textbook or a scholarly monograph. It is not addressed to an audience of mathematicians. But it raises questions about relations between mathematics and society that may well be of interest to the mathematical community. This issue is commonly discussed in terms of outreach—the challenge of communicating research-level mathematics to the public. In Olsson’s case it also becomes a question of reach: how can we help someone who feels a powerful attraction to mathematical ideas but cannot negotiate the rugged terrain of prerequisite knowledge?

The heart of Olsson’s book is a personal essay, in which she describes her own intense and turbulent encounters with the world of mathematics. That narrative is braided into the stories of the Weil siblings—whose lives were also marked by intensity and turbulence. . . .”

Notices of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 68, no. 2 (Feb. 2021) (book review)

About André Weil

André and Simone Weil read

A series of quotes from André and Simone as collected from their letters to one another and likewise from Andre’s The Apprenticeship of a Mathematician.

My Father André Weil

Sylvie Weil read

Excerpt:

Almost twenty years have passed since my father’s death on August 6th, 1998, yet he still sometimes calls me: “Sylvie, get me out of here, I’m bored.” (The French word he uses is not so polite.)

I am sure that, following Jewish tradition, André was assigned a study companion for all eternity. I had once asked him who this companion would be. “Euler,” he answered, and smiled. So when he calls me to tell me he is bored, I ask: “What about Euler? Is he bored, too?”

Nothing horrified my father more than being bored or wasting time. Every moment needed to be usefully or pleasantly employed. I still have my father’s letters to me when I was a teenager. He recommended extraordinary programs: evenings were given to reading Euripides and Sophocles, Thursdays at the Louvre or the Comédie Française, Sunday afternoons at the Salle Pleyel to hear Beethoven…. The idealism of these letters makes me smile, but reactivates the terrible guilt I felt because, at fifteen, I just wanted to have a good time.

Communication, vol. 65, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 54-57