4/2013The Art and Artists of Numbers
For many, mathematics is nothing more than an accumulation of abstract formulas and dry recipes
for calculating. Not so for Friedrich Hirzebruch, Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for
Mathematics in Bonn, Germany. He had already succumbed to the beauty of the subject in his youth.
As the “doyen of German post-war mathematics,” Hirzebruch made this city on the Rhine an
attractor for researchers the world over.