Thursday, May 23, 2019

My Thought on Goro Shimura


Shimura's autobiography written in Japanese.

Goro Shimura, Princeton’s Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, died on Friday, May 3, in Princeton, New Jersey, at the age of 89 [1]. I found a blog intended to honor Shimura’s life and legacy [2], and wrote my thought on him there. The following is the duplicate copy of my contribution (the second entry in [2]).

It is quite sad to hear about the passing of Professor Shimura, but his legacy will continue forever through his achievements.
A little relationship between Professor Shimura and me is as follows: Haruko Iwasaki, who is one of my classmates in elementary school and was a professor of Japanese language at Princeton University in her thirties, was once invited to Professor Shimura’s home because of their common native country. After moving to the University of California, Haruko got a copy of Professor Shimura’s autobiographical book, “The Map of My Life” (Springer, 2008), from a person who came from an overseas country. This happened because the latter heard that the former had been an acquaintance with Professor Shimura at Princeton University. After that, Haruko became Professor Emerita, came back to Japan, and gave me the book, saying “You’re the only scientific person I know in Japan.” I enjoyed the book very much and wrote a review of it (https://ideaisaac.blogspot.com/2011/10/mathematicians-unique-autobiography.html) with the bottom line, “Most books I read in the afternoons this summer and early autumn made me sleepy, but Shimura’s autobiography was a complete exception.”

References
  1. Liz Fuller-Wright, “Professor Emeritus Goro Shimura 1930—2019,” https://www.math.princeton.edu/news/professor-emeritus-goro-shimura-1930-2019.
  2. In Memoriam • Princeton University Employees, https://blogs.princeton.edu/memorial/2019/05/goro-shimura/.

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Minuscule Relationship between Leon Lederman and Me

On October 5, 2018, I read the following sad news on a Web page of physicsworld:
Leon Lederman, the US particle physicist who shared the 1988 Nobel Prize for Physics with Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger, died on 3 October aged 96.

I happened to receive a letter type-written by Leon Lederman's secretary and signed by Lederman because I wished in 1979 to visit Fermilab, where he was the director at that time. I submitted his letter along with other overseas travel documents to the administrative department of the Radiation Center of Osaka Prefecture. So, I now have its Xerox copy only (see the photo).