by, coordinating editor
Raoul Bott passed away on December 20, 2005. Over a five-decade career he made many profound and fundamental contributions to geometry and topology. This is the second part of a two-part article in the Notices to commemorate his life and work. The first part was an authorized biography, “The life and works of Raoul Bott” [e1], which he read and approved a few years before his death. Since then there have been at least three volumes containing remembrances of Raoul Bott by his erstwhile collaborators, colleagues, students, and friends [e4], [e5], [e2], I have also written elsewhere about my experiences working with him [e3], This second part presents some personal recollections that do not overlap with what has already appeared in print. More reminiscences and appreciations of his work may be found in the upcoming final volume of the Collected Papers of Raoul Bott .
Bott had a passion for mathematics, which he kept to the very end, even after his retirement from Harvard. At the same time, he was firmly planted in the real world. As many of his acquaintances would agree, he exemplified the French phrase joie de vivre. His mathematical work speaks for itself, but it is hoped that the following reminiscences can give some idea of his personality, his zest for life, and his humanity.
The contributions are listed in the order in which the contributors first met Raoul Bott. As the coordinating editor, I have added a short introductory paragraph (in italics) to the beginning of each contribution.