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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorTodd_Trimble
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2011

    This is for Toby: in the article on Errett Bishop, it is stated, “Before [his interest in constructive mathematics], he had an ordinary career in approximation theory.” This sounds rather odd to me; most accounts I have read have said his career in (for example) function algebras and in several complex variables – not to mention approximation theory – was extraordinary and brilliant. (Quite a few people with no interest in his constructive mathematics hailed him as an authentic genius in these areas.) Would you clarify this, please?

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorTodd_Trimble
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2011
    • (edited Nov 8th 2011)

    Some very impressive testimony regarding the mathematical (analytic) prowess of Bishop can be found here.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2011

    By ‘ordinary’ I meant not focussed on constructive mathematics.

    I’ve edited the sentence slightly, but you should add more if you like.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorTodd_Trimble
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2011

    You mean, then, a career in classical or ordinary approximation theory, not a classical career in approximation theory! The latter sounds bizarre to me! Just to underscore this, wouldn’t it sound weird to say “a non-constructive career in approximation theory”, when you mean “a career in non-constructive approximation theory”?

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2011

    Goodness, you’re right!

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2011

    That’s fun. Let’s see, what kind of careers can we envision:

    A perverse career in sheaf theory.

    A pointless career in topology.

    An unbounded career in chain complex theory.

    A simple career in group theory

    An empty career in set theory. (Nah, then better a career in empty set theory ;-)

    Okay, I better stop now.