The ethical lives of mathematicians

For your comparison:

John von Neumann   alexander-grothendieck
John von Neumann             Alexander Grothendieck

The biographical info linked via the captions above is instructive, I think. (Apologies for the very slow-loading pdf on Grothendieck from the AMS Notices). I find von Neumann’s ethics rather terrifying. Grothendieck is a stark counterpoint, though not much of a model on the whole. Read about Grothendieck at least for the story of his father — the little that seems to be known about him is utterly fascinating!

On this theme, this is very encouraging.

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