Cédric Villani is in the middle of his US tour to present the American release of his book Birth of a Theorem, the translation of his French best-seller Théorème vivant (whose cover picture is featured in my Chapter 2). Or maybe his tour is already over; I just missed him in New York on April 15, but he was spotted the following evening in Seattle, and by now he could be anywhere.
J. W. Gibbs and C. Villani: two of a kind?
I’ll catch up with Villani in Paris at Shakepeare and Co. in May, and I’m sure I’ll have more to say about his book between now and then. Meanwhile, Thomas Lin (editor-in-chief of Quanta magazine) has published a short article about Villani in the New Yorker entitled The Lady Gaga of French Mathematics Comes Stateside. I’ve read dozens of articles about Villani and his book, but Lin’s is one of the best, along with the review by McGill Professor Jacques Hurtubise in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society. Hurtubise is a mathematician writing for other mathematicians, so it might not seem so surprising that he was able to convey the feel as well as the meaning of Villani’s book; but Lin is not a mathematician, which makes his article that much more admirable.