Interview with Michel Waldschmidt
Date: 10:30 02/10/2020
This is an interview with Michel Waldschmidt. He is mainly known for his
contribution to transcendental number theory.
The interview will be around the following questions:
1. Please tell us about your first mathematical
experiences: They were fostered by which people and who were your first mathematics teachers?
2. What is your first feeling of discovery in mathematics?
3. Tell us about your thesis. How did you come up with transcendental number theory?
4. What is your favorite transcendental number?
5. Once I asked in my class that most of mathematician uses e and pi number but they never need to know their
approximated values or whether they are transcendental or not. Why do you think this is the case?
6. What do you think about the name period and PoincarĂ©'s complain to Picard?
7. What do you think about using arithmetic algebraic geometry and machinery of schemes and stacks
in order to prove some explicit statement in transcendental number theory? Sometimes developing a general
language makes the person far away from some explicit problems.
For instance, Grothendieck is famous for giving 57 as an example of prime number.
8. In the last twenty or thirty years we have seen an enormous interaction between number theory and physics.
What do you think about this?
9. There are mathematical physicist who wish to remodel our world not starting with real and complex number,
but with p-adic numbers. Even for many number theoretist p-adic numbers are more natural than real or complex numbers.
What is your opinion about this.
10 Can you talk about the role of differential equations in transcendental number theory?
11. What has been your obsession in mathematics? Which conjecture you have tried a lot but you failed?
12. You had many adminstrative tasks, and meantime you have not stopped giving lectures and doing research?
Tell us how did you manage this?
13. My feeling is that in the less developed countries, due to many reasons such as bad conditions of research, low salary etc.
one loses motivation to do pure mathematics. As a person who is widely active in promotion of science in these countries,
what one has to do further in this direction?
14. If you were to start a new career, what you would choose in mathematics or even science or art?