Tales from the past

1. A Mail to Peter Scholze

As a 17-year old, I had read in a book about a number theoretic problem on which, according to Wikipedia, no progress had been made since Greek antiquity. To my surprise, I got somewhere, namely reducing the problem to square numbers. I wrote up my conceptually simple proof in an obscure 14 pages Latex document and sent it to Peter Scholze, then just having been appointed professor at the age of 24. What could possibly go wrong?

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2. Cycling with Galois

Also as a 17 year old, I did a gap year and started by cycling from Berlin to Istanbul, only with an antiquated German book on Galois theory as companion.  

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3. More about cycling, or how to impress your co-corrector

Three years later I did another cycling tour, this time from Bonn to Thessaloniki. On my return, I arrived late at night, almost having missed my flight because I struggled to get the bulky, heavy box with my disassembled bicycle to the airport. Now, close to midnight at the Bonn airport, said box is close to falling to pieces. Tired and exhausted, I have to figure out how to get it back to my house. That is the state I’m in when I meet one of our analysis post-docs, later to become  the co-corrector of my Bachelor’s thesis.

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