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So writing one more of these looked like such a loss of energy. When they had someone like Dieudonne who wrote during his mathematical life something like 80000 pages of mathematics in a relentless way, the machine would function. But when I arrived, he was already gone and there was nobody to replace him. So it became more like a club and I didn’t care to participate GBK When was this? C It was back in 78 or something like that. GBK Then you announce that your were leaving? C You don’t have to.

In the University of Tehran long time ago most of the professors were educated in France, some before world war II and some after, but the system was not at all efficient. Nobody did anything. 33 MK but they didn’t do research for other reasons, like social and political instability. C You didn’t have CNRS. What is vital for research is CNRS. MK These people were the first generation of Iranians who had contact with modern mathematics and it was very hard to continue that in Iran back then. GBK If you adopt something like CNRS with no control no checking then nobody would do research.

In some sense once they migrated in the US they survived and did very well but I believed they would have bloomed better if not transplanted. By doing well they give the appearance that the US system is very successful but it is not on it’s own by any means. The constant pressure for producing reduces the “time unit” of most young people there. Beginners have little choice but to find an adviser that is sociologically well implanted (so that at a later stage he or she will be able to write the relevant recommendation letters and get a position for the student) and then write a technical thesis showing that they have good muscles, and all this in a limited amount of time which prevents them from learning stuff that requires several years of hard work.

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