Friday, September 01, 2017

Old friends Andrew Ranicki and Jo Marks in 1977

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I met both in 1968, Jo in Liverpool and Andrew in Cambridge. They were classmates earlier. For some reason both had unjustified confidence in me.
Jo Marks on the right, friend and more like a younger brother since 1968. He paid the deposit for my current house and refused to take it back. I am still trying and he is not broke yet. Jo was ph.d. Student in mathematics when I landed in Liverpool in 1968 and helped me understand the work of CT.C. Wall, his advisor, when I was struggling to understand. Soon it was used to settle some famous conjectures bu R.Kirby and L.Siebenmann. Jo shifted to publishing and later computers and started a company called Harlequin over his garage. It grew and in a few years he employed over 400 people around the world. But he was spending more than half the earnings in research and development and the company became easy pickings for a take over. Their products are still used around the world. He is back to meditating about mathematics and politics.
 Andrew was partly responsible for my going to IAS, Princeton. I applied in a very haphazard way. Apparently Andrew saw it and wrote a letter on my behalf without asking and probably helped in other ways. His wife Ida helped us in learning driving. I did not do much else in Princeton or for a few years later. My most satisfactory work has been in Melbourne after the age of 55 mainly with another Liverpool contact Peter Scott.

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