01 August 2008

Bourbaki and the AMS

An interesting fact from the August 2008 Notices of the American Mathematical Society (in the article "From the AMS Secretary", by John Ewing, which is mostly a history of the AMS): Nicolas Bourbaki is the only mathematician known to be denied membership in the AMS. Bourbaki was a member of the Société Mathematique de France and applied for reciprocal membership. But Bourbaki was denied membership in the AMS, basically on the grounds that Bourbaki was neither an individual nor an institution.

(Incidentally, tortured grammar in this post can be blamed on the fact that it's not clear whether I should use singular or plural pronouns when referring to Bourbaki.)

1 comment:

Blaise Pascal said...

Was it clear from the start that Bourbaki wasn't an individual? Or did Bourbaki intentionally lead people to believe Bourbaki was a single person?