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Alexander Grothendieck : German Mathematician

Alexander Grothendieck

Alexander Grothendieck was a great German mathematician. Who is considered by many as the greatest mathematician of the 20th century. He is known for the creation of modern algebraic geometry.

He also works in the fields of functional analysis and homological algebra and gave a great contribution. Alexander was born in Germany but he was a Frenchman also because he lived his major part of life in France due to his exile by nazis.

Time and place of birth

Alexander Grothendieck was born in Germany’s modern day capital Berlin, Prussia. He was born on 28th march, 1928.

Early life

Alexander was born in Berlin in a jewish family. His father’s name was alexander sascha schaphiro and his mother’s name is johanna grothendieck.

He acquired his surname by his mother’s second name. Grothendieck lived in Berlin until 1933. After this year he was forced to exile due to his jewish background.


As Alexander grew up he saw himself in between the chaos. Because it was the post WWII era. His family was ruined due to the war.

As an adult Alexander found himself in France and got his education in this country. He lived his rest of life in this country and earned all the fame he deserved. Grothendieck became a french citizen in 1971.

Education and career

Alexander studied mathematics at the university of Montpellier, in france. After three years of studying in this university he turned towards paris in 1948.

Then he continued his education in nancy university. After that he spent a little bit of time at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil between 1953 to 1955. His career as a mathematician expanded between 1950 to 1973.

Interesting facts about Alexander Grothendieck

  • He was born in Germany but still he was a stateless man until 1971,when he got the french citizenship.
  • Both Of Alexander’s parents took part in the spanish civil war.
  • He got his surname from the last name of her mother.

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Mathematical achievement

Alexander Grothendieck gave contributions in many branches of maths. But he is famous for his works in algebraic geometry. Apart from this he is also known for his works in number theory and topology.

Contribution in mathematics

Algebraic geometry is a branch of algebra. In This geometry is based on the different algebraic techniques. Alexander is known to make significant changes in it. Thus he is known worldwide for renewing algebraic geometry.

Apart from this, Grothendieck is also known for his contribution in topology and number theory.

Books written by Grothendieck Alexander

  • Elements de geometrie : algebrique
  • The grothendieck festschrift
  • The tame fundamental group of a formal neighborhood of a divisor with normal crossings on a scheme
  • A general theory of fibre spaces with structure sheaf
  • Local cohomology : a seminar
Books written by Alexander Grothendieck by vedic maths school


Politically Alexander is not with both the american or capitalists and soviets or socialists thoughts. He was a pacifist. In 1970 he formed a political party with two other mathematicians Claude Chevalley and Pierre samuel. The name of his party was survivre later he changed it into survivre et vivre.


Fields medal in 1966
Emile picard medal in 1977
Crafoord prize in 1988 although he declined it due to some other reasons.

Grothendieck Alexander Quotes

Discovery is the privilege of the child; the child who has no fear of being once again wrong, of looking like an idiot, of not being serious, of not doing things like everyone else.”

Fertility is measured by offspring, not by honours.

Read More : The Riemann Revelation: Changing Math Forever.


Who is the founder of algebraic geometry?

Alexander Grothendieck was the founder of algebraic geometry.

Who is the greatest mathematician of the past 100 years?

Grothendieck Alexander is considered to be a great mathematician of the 20th century.

When and where Alexander Grothendieck was born?

He was born on march 28, 1928 in modern day capital of germany berlin.

Where did Alexander get his education?

University of montpellier University of nancy

When and where did Alexander Grothendieck die?

He died on 13th november 2014, in saint lizier, france.

A Costa rican-puerto rican writer named Carlos Fonseca wrote a semi biographical novel about Alexander grothendieck. It’s name is the colonel lagrimas. It is available in english by restless books as colonel tears.

See also

Want to know mathematicians like Alexander, David Hilbert, Georg Cantor and many more. Then you can check our website.

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