Born in La ChauxdeFonds, Switzerland, I studied mathematics at the ETH Zürich where I was strongly influenced by two great mathematicians: the topologist Heinz Hopf and the Lie group theorist Eduard Stiefel.
I moved to Paris to study with the "French Topology" group, where I learned enough from Henri Cartan's seminar to write my thesis on the Leray spectral sequence.
From there, it was on to the United States where I learned algebraic geometry and number theory from the esteemed Andre Weil...followed by sporadic teaching stints in Zurich.
Eventually, I settled in as a "permanent" professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (NJ), contributing research results to algebraic topology and the theory of Lie groups...and am now considered cocreator of the theory of linear algebraic groups.
For my work in algebra, especially research results and a text on the history of Lie Groups, I was awarded the Balzan Prize....followed by the Brouwer Medal, election to the Academy of Sciences in the U.S., Paris, and Finland, and the prestigous AMS's Steele Prize.
I was a member of the Bourbaki group for more than 20 years, but my actual contributions remain a secret.
In addition to traveling and hiking in local woods, I loved jazz and developed a passion for Carnatic music known for its syncopated rhythms and melodic improvisations.
Also, people always used to ask if I was related to the great Émile Borel, and I never gave a consistent answer...alternating between being his nephew and being not related.
Answer:
Armand Borel (19232003)
