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Observations on the movement of people and ideas in twentieth-century mathematics. (English) Zbl 1092.01015
Bolibruch, A.A. (ed.) et al., Mathematical events of the twentieth century. Transl. from the Russian. Berlin: Springer; Moscow: PHASIS (ISBN 3-540-23235-4/hbk). 215-241 (2006).
The author of the study under review has been the advisor on questions of scientific emigration to Israel at the Ministry of Science, led by Yuval Ne’eman, also rector of the Tel Aviv University. This article is like a saga, and may be read with the interest and involvement of a literary-fiction-piece of work. A gifted story-teller, Milman discusses here one of the most extraordinary adventures of the twentieth century -- the emigration to Israel of an impressive, incredible number of high class mathematicians -- and not only -- from the Soviet Union and former Soviet Union!), the intelligent policy adopted by the State of Israel to have them all, to assure to them all optimum conditions of living and working. Successes, failures, mentioning of impossibly high sums of money here involved, donations … all are here, in an extremely pleasant reading, the key-word of which is solidarity. It is history, pure history here described: the author’s personal history (he himself an emigrate), the history of mathematics in Israel (naturally, flourishing now in a most unexpected manner), the tragic history of Russian mathematics, the history of the State of Israel. There are two other sections in this article, devoted to the ancestry of Banach and the origin of the term {\it Banach space}, and another one -- quite ample-entitled: From functional analysis to asymptotic geometric analysis (classical-infinite dimensional-functional analysis, another view of the concept of a “linear structure”, asymptotic geometric analysis -- some examples). For the entire collection see [Zbl 1072.01002].
MSC:
01A60Mathematics in the 20th century
46-03Historical (functional analysis)