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Mathematics without ApologiesPortrait of a Problematic Vocation$
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Michael Harris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175836

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175836.001.0001

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A Mathematical Dream and Its Interpretation

A Mathematical Dream and Its Interpretation

Chapter:
(p.265) Chapter 9 A Mathematical Dream and Its Interpretation
Source:
Mathematics without Apologies
Author(s):

Michael Harris

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691175836.003.0013

This chapter details the author's dream about the cohomology of unramified coverings of Drinfel'd upper half-spaces, which brought him an insight that he could not quite recover but was certain that he should not let slip away. He remained at the edge of wakefulness for several minutes, until the insight solidified to the point of being expressible in words—or, more accurately, a combination of words and images to which he could associate mathematical content. Over the next few weeks his ideas grew clearer as he reread Henri Carayol's article and discussed the problem with colleagues in Paris and Orsay; by December 29 the insight that came to him in his dream had taken the form of a research program that he described in detail in a letter to Michael Rapoport.

Keywords:   mathematicians, mathematics, cohomology, unramified coverings, Drinfel'd upper half-spaces

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