Reflections on My Life as a Mathematician
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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