i have some vague memories of abelian and galois groups. they remind me of the first years of university, when i was taking algebra (repeatedly) and wondering sadly what the heck all that stuff was useful for :-).
they remind me of the girls i liked at the time, of the time spent in the aula magna, etc., but of course i didn't remember much of the concepts linked to these names before i looked them up in the wikipedia.

today the professor of "dynamical systems and optimization" was talking about a particular semigroup when he decided to tell us the story of galois. the legend goes that this brilliant and turbulent mathematician scheduled a duel (it's not so clear why) and was quite sure that he was going to die because of that. so he spent the night before the duel writing all his ideas on group theory. he added, as a note: "there is something to complete in this demonstration. i do not have the time." :-).
the following day he was shot in the belly and one day later he died, at 20.

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