"O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams."

"The mathematician is fascinated with the marvelous beauty of the forms he constructs, and in their beauty he finds everlasting truth."
Shaw, George Bernard (1856-1950)
In N. Rose Mathematical Maxims and Minims, Raleigh NC: Rome Press Inc., 1988.

Mandelbrot blue

Contrary to the general prejudice of a boring mathematician, there are lots of thrilling biographies of mathematicians. That's the reason why E.T.Bell's book "Men of Mathematics" has been a favorite lecture for many mathematicians for decades. Evariste Galois life was the  most tragic of them all. He was less than 21 years of age, when he was killed in a duel.

Evariste Galois
Abel was done by poverty, Galois by stupidity. In all the history of science there is no completer example of the triumph of crass stupidity over untamable genius than is afforded by the all too  brief life of Évariste Galois. The record of his misfortunes might well stand as a sinister monument to all self-assured pedagogues, unscrupulous politicians, and conceited academicians. Galois was no "ineffectual angel", but even his magnificent powers were shattered before the massed stupidity aligned against him, and he beat his life out fighting one unconquerable fool after another.

E.T. Bell, Genius and Stupidity

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Written by Bernd Klein; Last Modified: April 29, 2003