The Abel Prize pp 235-241 | Cite as

Reflections on My Life as a Mathematician

  • Lennart CarlesonEmail author
Part of the The Abel Prize book series (AP)


My ancestors are all from the Swedish bourgeois society. Among them are rather prominent civil servants and officers in the army. My father was originally a civil engineer and he became executive director of a large steel mill. My adolescence was very privileged and as a Swede I was fortunate to escape from the sufferings of the Second World War. There was no academic tradition in my family but I grew up in an intellectually stimulating environment where political matters were the main topics. I went to the local schools and skipped one grade, so that I finished high school barely 17 years old. I had then started to read mathematics textbooks, for the first undergraduate level, but I was in no way determined to become a mathematician. Most of my reading during the three last years of high school was classical literature, and when I now think back to that period I am amazed at how much I managed to read. This was actually the only period of my life that I could find time for a general education.

Mathematics Subject Classification (2000)

00-02 00A15 01A70 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of MathematicsRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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