[FOM] Manjul Bhargava: A nice exception to a rule

Colin McLarty colin.mclarty at case.edu
Thu Aug 14 08:34:12 EDT 2014

On Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 3:13 AM, Harvey Friedman <hmflogic at gmail.com>
wrote, among much else, that among mathematicians in general when a

> solution uses considerable machinery (t)his is considered an extreme plus
over it being solved by extremely
> clever special methods.  There is rationale for this, mainly that if big
machines are used, then that promises
> further solutions to further problems more than an extremely clever
special method.

Yes that is common.  But the Fields Medal to Manjul Bhargava shows clever
methods without heavy machinery can sometimes also promise further
solutions to further problems.

Bhargava cites some mathematicians who use heavy machinery (Langlands, de
Jong) but I don't know if he cites the heavier parts of their work.  And
what people like about his work is how light weight the machinery is, yet
vastly productive, and suggestive of much more.  People compare his work to

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