The Map of My Life

The Map of My Life

Language: English

Pages: 211

ISBN: 0387797149

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this book, the author writes freely and often humorously about his life, beginning with his earliest childhood days. He describes his survival of American bombing raids when he was a teenager in Japan, his emergence as a researcher in a post-war university system that was seriously deficient, and his life as a mature mathematician in Princeton and in the international academic community. Every page of this memoir contains personal observations and striking stories. Such luminaries as Chevalley, Oppenheimer, Siegel, and Weil figure prominently in its anecdotes.


Goro Shimura is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Princeton University. In 1996, he received the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the American Mathematical Society. He is the author of Elementary Dirichlet Series and Modular Forms (Springer 2007), Arithmeticity in the Theory of Automorphic Forms (AMS 2000), and Introduction to the Arithmetic Theory of Automorphic Functions (Princeton University Press 1971).

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train in the photo is about to leave for Chino Station, fifteen miles south of the hotel and one hundred miles west of Shinjuku. The parents or guardians of a pupil could stay in the same hotel as long as they wished. The faces looking out of the train windows are those of the fifth-graders, including my brother, who participated in the program. The man leaning forward at the entrance of the train is my father, who was going to spend a few days at the hotel. Those standing on the platform are the

do you think of this?” The picture was ordinary and had no suggestive element. I said nothing and showed no emotion, which might have disappointed him. In any case, he closed the book, and I left. Maybe I should have said, imitating Professor Fujikake, “Wonderful” or, “How beautiful.” 50 II. AS A STUDENT Once we had dictation with another English teacher. The text, about fifteen lines in all, described something about maple syrup. The teacher collected what we had done, but for some reason

came to Princeton, and they were able to arrange my visit. Also, I had been familiar with classical Chinese literature, and had 19. IMPRESSIONS OF VARIOUS COUNTRIES 151 wished to go there at least once in my life, and so was very happy to fulfill that wish. Though I was treated graciously and I had no bad feelings like what I had against Soviet Russia, at the end of my visit I was left with the impression that the country was full of irreconcilable contradictions. The hotel where I stayed in

as a creative mathematician was over, which was true. Therefore he invented such a general principle of a young man’s game in order to defend or justify his demise as a mathematician. I haven’t heard any opinion about it except what Weil said, but I would think Littlewood, his principal collaborator, never took it seriously. He was not as affected as Hardy. Reading his Apology and the “Foreword” to it by C. P. Snow, we have a fair picture of him as an extremely competitive man. Apparently he was

later, in 1960, his planned visit to Japan would be hindered by the almost riotous demonstrations of labor unions and students in the city, but nobody foresaw it in the peaceful atmosphere of the mid 1950s. While walking, I had a mildly uplifted feeling of expectation and curiosity about what would happen, the first of those I would experience many times later, whenever I was going to see Weil. My acquaintance with him began in 1953, when I sent my manuscript on “Reduction of algebraic varieties

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