The scientific heritage of IHES
The "Séminaire de géométrie algébrique du Bois-Marie" was held every Tuesday afternoon in the music pavilion, which doubled up as library and conference room. These long seminars, conducted in the Cartan tradition, aimed to provide a new foundation for algebraic geometry, specifically in the language of schemes.
"He is only twenty-four!” ..."
Scientific Committee discussions, May 1969
When Pierre Deligne arrived at IHES, the possibility of offering him a permanent professor post quickly arose. The proposal was enthusiastically supported by Alexander Grothendieck but objections were raised. Pierre Deligne was very young and had not yet obtained his doctorate. Nonetheless, the Institute was prepared to take a risk...
“Whichever math center secures him will be as influential as Göttingen in Hilbert’s time.”
Alexander Grothendieck, talking about Pierre Deligne, 1968.
Deligne’s recruitment embedded algebraic geometry even more firmly into the fabric of the Institute. Throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, the cafeteria echoed with the conversations of Jean-Pierre Serre, John Tate, Armand Borel, Robert Langlands and many, many others.