Nicolas Bourbaki

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Nicolas Bourbaki is the collective pseudonym under which a group of (mainly French) 20th-century mathematicians wrote a series of books presenting an exposition of modern advanced mathematics, beginning in 1935. With the goal of founding all of mathematics on set theory, the group strove for rigour and generality. Their work led to the discovery of several concepts and terminologies still discussed.

While there is no Nicolas Bourbaki, the Bourbaki group, officially known as the Association des collaborateurs de Nicolas Bourbaki (Association of Collaborators of Nicolas Bourbaki), has an office at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.


Histories of Bourbaki
  • Henri Cartan, Nicolas Bourbaki und die heutige Mathematik, Cologne and Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1959. (German)
    • "Nicolas Bourbaki and contemporary mathematics", Mathematical Intelligencer 2 (4) (December 1980), pp 175-180. [1]
  • J. Fang, Bourbaki: Towards a Philosophy of Modern Mathematics I, Hauppage, New York: Paideia, 1969, 144 pp.
  • Liliane Beaulieu, Bourbaki" Une histoire du groupe de mathematiciens francais et de ses travaux (1934-1944), Montreal University, 1990, 552 pp. Ph. D. thesis, 2 Volumes. (French)
  • Liliane Beaulieu, "A Parisian Café and Ten Proto-Bourbaki Meetings (1934-1935)", Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol. 15, No. 1. (1993), pp 27-35.
  • Liliane Beaulieu, "Dispelling a Myth: Questions and Answers about Bourbaki’s Early Work, 1934–1944", in The Intersection of History and Mathematics, Basel: Birkhäuser, 1994, pp 241-252.
  • Liliane Beaulieu, "Bourbaki's Art of Memory", Osiris, 2nd Series, Vol. 14 (1999), Commemorative Practices in Science: Historical Perspectives on the Politics of Collective Memory, pp 219-251.
  • David Aubin, "Chapter II: Structures", in A Cultural History of Catastrophes and Chaos: Around the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France 1958-1980, Princeton University, 1998. Ph. D. thesis.
  • David Aubin, "War Cultures in Postwar French Mathematics: A Critique of the Bourbaki and Forman Theses", 2007. Paper presented at the conference The Cultural Alchemy of the Exact Sciences: Revisiting the Forman Thesis.
  • Michele Chouchan, Nicolas Bourbaki: Faites et legendes, Editions du Choix, 1995, 172 pp. (French)
  • Liliane Beaulieu, Nicolas Bourbaki: History And Legend, 1934-1956, Springer, 2006, 350 pp.
  • Bourbaki bibliography compiled by Liliane Beaulieu, 2013.