The G-Man turns 83 today.

Suggested Grothenday activity; locate the hackiest, most awkward argument in a paper you’re working on, and replace it with an elegant proof that follows effortlessly once the correct definitions are set down.

Bonus points if this extends the original statement to the relative case over an arbitrary base scheme.

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“relative case over an arbitrary base scheme”

… surely you mean “arbitrary base stack, or rather topos” ?

For Grothenday I gave a survey lecture on complex manifolds, holomorphic vector bundles, curvature, and Chern classes where I described everything in terms of charts, coordinates, transition functions and indices. Mwa ha ha ha!

(Seriously, I was trying to prep the audience for lectures by Demailly on his work on the Green-Griffiths conjecture. Although it goes against all my instincts as an algebraic geometer, this did seem like the fastest way to get through a lot of basic definitions.)

I thought of saying this, but I didn’t want to epater les analytic number theorists.

Well, in view of Expose XII in SGA1 it’s fitting that March 28 is also the birthday of Lady Gaga (turned 25 this year), so we could call it “GAGA Day” too.

I’m a little afraid to ask, but ….. why do you know this?

For Grothenday, I took part in an impromptu tutorial for students occupying a university building in protest at various eminently protestable things. I like to think of this as a tribute to late-period Grothendieck. We mostly talked about functional analysis, which covers early-period Grothendieck.

I omitted that difficult middle period.

I didn’t know it. I just entered “March 28” into Google to find a list of people born on that day, and that name caught my eye. The “Gaga” aspect seemed too funny to pass up.

Indeed, the similarities are uncanny: two visionaries who completely transformed their respective fields by inventing a totally new language but who where also remarked by their odd demeanor and polemical stances. Except from the facts that there is no doubt that Lady Gaga is a woman and that she always performs with her face uncovered, I would almost suspect that I now know what occupation Alexander has found since his retirement. Now wait a minute…