Two well-known mathematicians died this week

The first is William Thurston. I’m not a geometer, so I’ll just do a roundup of some interesting things I’ve seen:

John Horgan, How William Thurston (RIP) Helped Bring About “The Death of Proof”.

Edward Tenner in The Atlantic.

Terry Tao briefly summarizes some of Thurston’s work.

New York Times obituary (Leslie Kaufman). The headling here is “William P. Thurston, Theoretical Mathematician, Dies at 65; I’ve seen some people say that the word “theoretical” is superfluous here.

Daina Taimina‘s pictures and remembrances.

Cornell’s memorial site.

Peter Woit.


A couple videos:

And a couple bits of metamathematics:

Thurston, On Proof and Progress in Mathematics

Thurston’s answer to the MathOverflow question What’s a mathematician to do? (to contribute to mathematics). “The product of mathematics is clarity and understanding.”

The second, somewhat closer to my background as a combinatorialist, is Jerry Nelson.

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