Barry Mazur, né en 1937 à New York, est un mathématicien de renommée mondiale. Il est professeur à l’Université Harvard. Il est spécialiste de la théorie des nombres et son travail porte sur la géométrie diophantienne et les courbes elliptiques.
« AB : You’ve had many students over the years such as Jordan Ellenberg who’ve I’ve interviewed here. What is your advice for young people (say graduate students) studying mathematics ?
BM : The first thing I hope people learn (this applies to both undergraduates and graduates) is to respect their native curiosity. When you are curious about something, then you can ask questions that matter to you, and that’s extremely important. You should follow those questions. There is an art of asking questions in mathematics that you should cultivate. It will help you enormously. »
« AB : I’d like to close with looking forward. What would you say are some of the major directions for mathematics in the future ?
BM : Mathematics is too broad to predict. Overnight, there may be a new road. For example, I went to the Arizona Winter School, which chooses a subject (often in number theory) and has senior people giving lectures. There are usually many students, who do projects on the subject that is being taught. It’s a week-long thing. Very often the subject is one that has just opened up.
This March they covered the topic of perfectoids. I won’t tell you what it is as it is rather technical. But I knew I had better learn perfectoids, so I signed up. I didn’t give lectures ; I just went to learn. This is largely around the work of Peter Scholze who is extraordinary in many ways, and has developed a marvelous school of collaborators developing perfectoids. They have produced an enormous number of results in arithmetic algebraic geometry, arithmetic, and representation theory. »
Source : Anthony Bonato, Blog : THE INTREPID MATHEMATICIAN Reading, writing and arithmetic, Interview with a mathematician : Barry Mazur, URL : https://anthonybonato.com/2017/05/10/interview-with-a-mathematician-barry-mazur/