R.I.P. Arnol'd
June 11, 2010 3:27 PM   Subscribe

The great[pdf] Russian mathematican Vladimir Igorevich Arnol'd, foremost modern practitioner of classical mechanics, influential teacher, namesake of a minor planet, and semi-nude cross-country skier has died.
posted by ennui.bz (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My graduate classical mechanics course was taught out of Arnol'd's textbook. The relationship between that book and a student learning from it is one of respectful adversariness, not unlike Patton & Rommel. Eventually, though, I came to really appreciate his way of approaching the subject. I couldn't have written my doctoral thesis the way I did without his text, and it's been invaluable to me as my research career went on.

So rest in peace, Arnol'd, you magnificent bastard. I read your book.

posted by Johnny Assay at 3:43 PM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

I recently used his computation of the cohomology of the braid group in a crucial way.

posted by escabeche at 3:54 PM on June 11, 2010

So there's the same amount of wine in your tea as tea in your wine.

posted by Obscure Reference at 4:07 PM on June 11, 2010

Wow. Having gone through Arnold's Classical Mechanics books in my junior year in college, I can only say that I consider anyone else who has "experienced" this book to be the mathematical equivalent of a blood brother.

Never knew much about the author but he taught this cocky prodigy some humility.
posted by vacapinta at 4:49 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Got a lot out of Geometrical Methods In The Theory Of Ordinary Differential Equations, but only a minuscule fraction of what he put in there, I'm sorry to say.

I didn't think he would make the Metafilter cut (especially when one of the seminal figures of chaos theory, Edward Lorenz, did not-- unless I overlooked it), but I'm glad to see it.
posted by jamjam at 6:03 PM on June 11, 2010

Semi-nude? Unless you're nude, you're semi-nude. That goes for everybody.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:10 PM on June 11, 2010

I remember the first week of my 2nd year reading physics, I hadn't gone to the first lecture of our Further Classical Physics class. I figured that it was only classical, so it would be easy anyway. A friend of mine sent me a text after getting out of the lecture that read "FCP textbook has plain cover and Russian author", right away I knew that I had underestimated this class.

posted by atrazine at 1:34 AM on June 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by alby at 2:05 AM on June 12, 2010

posted by talos at 3:15 AM on June 12, 2010

posted by albrecht at 2:22 PM on June 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

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