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Michael Atiyah

Data de nascimento: 22. Abril 1929

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Michael Francis Atiyah, OM, FRS , é um matemático britânico de origem libanesa, considerado um dos expoentes da geometria do século XX.

Atiyah foi Professor Saviliano de Geometria em Oxford, mantendo esta cadeira de 1963 até 1969, quando foi nomeado professor de matemática no Instituto de Estudos Avançados de Princeton.

Seu trabalho pioneiro em conjunto com Isadore Singer levou à prova do teorema do índice de Atiyah-Singer na década de 1960, resultado que serviu de base para o desenvolvimento de vários ramos da matemática desde então. É o atual presidente da Sociedade Real de Edimburgo.

Também fundou, antes e conjuntamente com Friedrich Hirzebruch, o estudo de outra grande ferramenta da topologia algébrica: a K-teoria topológica. Foi inspirada pelo trabalho de Alexander Grothendieck ao generalizar o teorema de Riemann-Roch, e gerou a K-teoria algébrica e muitas aplicações em física matemática.

Citações Michael Atiyah

„I always want to try to understand why things work. I’m not interested in getting a formula without knowing what it means. I always try to dig behind the scenes, so if I have a formula, I understand why it’s there. And understanding is a very difficult notion“

—  Michael Atiyah
Context: I always want to try to understand why things work. I’m not interested in getting a formula without knowing what it means. I always try to dig behind the scenes, so if I have a formula, I understand why it’s there. And understanding is a very difficult notion. People think mathematics begins when you write down a theorem followed by a proof. That’s not the beginning, that’s the end. For me the creative place in mathematics comes before you start to put things down on paper, before you try to write a formula. You picture various things, you turn them over in your mind. You’re trying to create, just as a musician is trying to create music, or a poet. There are no rules laid down. You have to do it your own way. But at the end, just as a composer has to put it down on paper, you have to write things down. But the most important stage is understanding. A proof by itself doesn’t give you understanding. You can have a long proof and no idea at the end of why it works. But to understand why it works, you have to have a kind of gut reaction to the thing. You’ve got to feel it. On an article by Qunta magazine(when asked: Is there one big question that has always guided you?) https://www.quantamagazine.org/michael-atiyahs-mathematical-dreams-20160303

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