At the meeting on 1st April 2000 the Scientific Council of CIM approved the following events for 2001:
Professor F.J. Craveiro de Carvalho asked me (and others) the following question: “If you had to mention one or two great moments in XXth century mathematics which one(s) would you pick?” Previous responders have, quite appropriately, interpreted “great moments” to be spectacular individual achievements such as the solution of Fermat’s Problem and the classification of the finite simple groups. Another interpretation might be changes in the direction or culture of mathematics that have greatly influenced its development.
Professor Vaisman, you are a distinguished mathemati- cian who has published lots of research papers and several books. Would you like to elaborate on your mathematical beginnings and the development of your career?
In the 1940s, I was a Mathematics student in the Faculty of Science at Lisbon University, and at that time, what we learned of the socalled Modern Algebra consisted only of groups of permutations and their application to Galois Theory about equations solvable by radicals. There was nothing at all about abstract groups, rings or other algebraic structures.