Memories of Raoul Bott

  • Thomas G. Goodwillie
Part of the Contemporary Mathematicians book series (CM)


In 1973–74 I had the good fortune to be introduced to topology by Raoul Bott. Let me try to convey something of what that was like and how the experience has stayed with me over the last forty years. Twice a week we would take our seats in the classroom, and there he would be: standing tall in front of us with a piece of chalk in his hand and a bit of a twinkle in his eye. He had a commanding presence, but never a formidable one. Above all it was a presence: he was so much with us! His love of the subject was unmistakable. Not that he talked about the power and the glory and the beauty of mathematics: he simply talked about mathematics, and it was beautiful and glorious and powerful.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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