# Ten abandoned gold mines

## Abstract

I thank Domenico Senato and his fellow organizers for the kind invitation to participate in this gathering of friends of Gian-Carlo Rota — to grieve with you his passing and to search with you for a renewal of the work he laid out for us. Mimmo and Elvira have asked me to speak about Gian-Carlo’s mathematical work — and I do so in keen recollection of the happy evenings the four of us spent together at a café on the *corso* in Cortona just in the summer of 1998. Gian-Carlo had a way of creating order in his life, imposing patterns on time so as to be able to concentrate his energies, and to plan for discussions with innumerable people. I like to compare this practice with the establishment of rules in the monastic orders. That summer’s *Regola Cortoniense* starts, as usual, not with the *angelus* but with lunch (no pasta, but with a big bowl of fruit to take to his room in prospect of an evening and morning without supplies). Then the combinatorial seminars, followed by a carefully scheduled series of tête-àtêtes with individual students and visitors. At 17h30 sharp, we climb into *la Macchina* Senato, for the short drive uphill from the Palazzone to the town. There, always at that table just outside the door of his favorite café, Gian-Carlo orders his evening meal: three scoops of *gelato al cioccolato* covered with a rich chocolate sauce, topped off with those tiny but ubiquitous Japanese parasols, which are promptly distributed as offerings. Discussion begins immediately on the umbral calculus, and lasts until after dark. A few pleasantries off the subject, to relax in the evening calm, and Mimmo and Elvira head for their lodging. Gian-Carlo and I return on foot (downhill) to the Palazzone. The day is complete. These were such happy hours for us all.

## Keywords

Sample Space Invariant Theory Projective Geometry Symmetry Class Exterior Algebra## Preview

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## References

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