# Frases de Michael Atiyah

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## Michael Atiyah

Data de nascimento: 22. Abril 1929

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.

### „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

### „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.“

—  Michael Atiyah
On an article by Quanta magazine(when asked: Is there one big question that has always guided you?) https://www.quantamagazine.org/michael-atiyahs-mathematical-dreams-20160303

### „Algebra is the offer made by the devil to the mathematician. The devil says: `I will give you this powerful machine, it will answer any question you like. All you need to do is give me your soul: give up geometry and you will have this marvellous machine.“

—  Michael Atiyah
[Michael Atiyah, Collected works. Vol. 6, The Clarendon Press Oxford University Press, Oxford Science Publications, http://www.math.tamu.edu/~rojas/atiyah20thcentury.pdf, 978-0-19-853099-2, 2160826, 2004]

### „My own supervisor, William Hodge, the creator of the fertile theory of harmonic forms, was not a genius like Ramanujan but resembled Lefschetz.“

—  Michael Atiyah
[Michael Atiyah, Michael Atiyah Collected Works: Volume 7: 2002-2013, https://books.google.com/books?id=Rm6VAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA286, 3 April 2014, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-968926-2, 286]

### „This 'Hodge conjecture' has by now achieved a considerable status, almost on a par with the Riemann hypothesis or the Poincaré conjecture.“

—  Michael Atiyah
[Michael Atiyah, Collected Works: Michael Atiyah Collected Works: Volume 1: Early Papers; General Papers, http://books.google.com/books?id=YJ0cZwxLECAC&pg=PA250, 28 April 1988, Clarendon Press, 978-0-19-853275-0, 250]