Henri Cartan, a mathematician known for meticulous proofs and for inspiring a revival of mathematics in France after World War II, died in Paris on Aug. 13. He was 104
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/25/science/25cartan.html
read this interesting interview with Henri Cartan (American Mathematical Society)
Does anybody know why Grothendieck decided to disappear?Notices: What are your memories of
Grothendieck?
Cartan: He is an exceptional man, of
course. He had a great influence on
some parts of mathematics, notably algebraic
geometry. His approach was
something new—though not completely
new, because at the beginning, for instance,
he himself was influenced by
Serre. Grothendieck is a very special
man. Nobody knows
He is very known to be one of the founders of the Bourbaki group. They published treaties over some subjects (including calculus, analysis, algebra) with methods quite revolutionary. Their books are still quite a reference in France. They wanted to change the way maths were taught and fought against it.
And his father is well-known too : Élie Cartan, who mostly contributed to the Lie groups if I remember well.
104 years is a pretty beautiful age.
Too add something on the Bourbaki group.
The Bourbaki group was a reaction against Poincare'.
They wanted to introduce mathematical formalism.
You can see this if you read the six volume Bourbaki books.
They start with Set Theory.
And build it up from there all the way up to Lie algebra.
They wish to show how everything is connected to eachother.
Another article about Henri Cartan:
Science News / Founder Of The Secret Society Of Mathematicians