Practice makes perfectoid: Pasts, futures, and the historiography of contemporary mathematics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Comparing my historical account of the early years of Laurent Schwartz’s theory of distributions with number theorist Michael Harris’s narrative of the early years of Peter Scholze’s perfectoid theory, I develop a perspective on change and temporality in mathematics that emphasizes the relationships between concepts, expectations, and communities of practice. Contemporary mathematics, understood as mathematics imbued with temporality, reflects the dynamic relationship between the people, ideas, pasts, and prospects of mathematical knowledge. Studying these historically may offer critical perspectives on the social and political conditions and implications of mathematical research and the communities that practice it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice
EditorsBharath Sriraman
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030190712
ISBN (Print)9783030190712
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jul 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • expectation
  • horizon
  • temporality
  • confidence
  • contemporary mathematics
  • perfectoid theory
  • distribution theory
  • concepts
  • Fields Medal


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