Even though this does not really constitute a post with substantial content, this is a blog after all, so I thought I'd let the 8 people who read it know that for the next six weeks, I will be attending a special semester on Algorithms and Complexity in Algebraic Geometry at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing in Berkeley. So. If you happen to be in the bay area, give me a shout.
Zariski's proof ((Oscar Zariski. A new proof of Hilbert's Nullstellensatz, Bulletin of the Ameican Mathematical Society Volume 53, Number 4 (1947), 362-368.)) of the Hilbert Nullstellensatz makes use of the ineffable Rabinowitch Trick ((J. L. Rabinowitsch, Zum Hilbertschen Nullstellensatz, Mathematische Annalen Volume 102, No. 1 (1929), 520.)) (check it out, that has got to be the shortest paper ever). But who is that awesome guy Rabinowitsch? I found out today, and the answer is basically in in this MO post: > Rainich was giving a lecture in which he made use of a clever trick which he had discovered. Someone in the audience indignantly interrupted him pointing out that this was the famous Rabinowitsch trick and berating Rainich for claiming to have discovered it. Without a word Rainich turned to the blackboard, picked up the chalk, and wrote RABINOWITSCH. He then put down the chalk, picked up an eraser and began erasing letters. When he was done what remained was RABINOWITSCH. He then went on with his lecture. Apparently, George Yuri Rainich is the mysterious stranger that went by the name of Rabinowitsch, which was his birthname ((Bruce P. Palka, Editor's Endnotes (May 2004), The American Mathematical Monthly 111 (5): 456–460)) ((Bruce P. Palka, Editor's Endnotes (December 2004). The American Mathematical Monthly 111 (10): 927–929)). I even updated the wikipedia page. Oh right, the reason this even caught my attention: Daniel R. Grayson has a really sweet, short proof of the Nullstellensatz, also using the Rainich Trick.