présentation en Français

Project presentation

R.W. Thomason was director of research at CNRS and a worldwide renowned mathematician. He brutally passed away in 1995 in the middle of his scientific production. His work was centered on algebraic K theory but also touched homotopy theory and category theory. All of these fields have been profoundly marked by his contributions.
At the time of his death He left 73 manuscript notebooks, filled with mathematical notes bequeathed by his legal successor to the Paris 6 / Paris 7 interuniversity Mathématique-Recherche library.
These notes cover the entirety of his research, both published and in progress at the time of his death. They are not only interesting historically but also scientifically. They contain several original ideas that mathematicians from all over the world came to consult at the library. However, this confidential diffusion wasn’t worthy of his considerable mathematical heritage. That’s the reason why the scientific team composed of Bruno Kahn, Max Karoubi and Georges Maltsinios decided that a worldwide digital diffusion of these notebooks would allow a better use of the ideas contained in these previously unpublished notes and would have a significant scientifical impact.
This digitization was done by the MIR Mathématiques-Informatique-Recherche library (Paris Diderot University, Pierre et Marie Curie University, CNRS) disposing of the appropriate equipment.

Access to the Thomason notebooks

Author biography

Robert Wayne Thomason (born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1952 – deceased in Paris in 1995) obtains his PHD at Princeton University in 1977 under the supervision of John Moore. He then in turn joins the Massachussets Institue of Technology, the University of Chicago, Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study and the John Hopkins University. In October 1989 He joins Max Karoubi’s team at the Paris Diderot – Paris 7 University and becomes head of research at the CNRS. The importance of his work is recognized when He is chosen for a talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Kyoto in 1990 : “The local to global principle in algebraic K-theory” (Proceedings of the international congress of mathematicians-August 21-29, 1990, Kyoto, Japan. Vol. 1. pages 381-394. Springer. 1991). At the time of his sudden death late 1995, the Mathématique-Recherche library of the BIUSJ inherits his notebooks which are now kept at the Mathématiques Informatique Recherche library (Université Paris Diderot ; Université Pierre et parie Curie ; CNRS) on the Jussieu campus.

Legal and practical informations

This digitized work is available accordingly to the Creative Commons Attribution Licence – No commercial use – Share in the same conditions


For any questions regarding the notebooks, you can contact the person in charge of the project, Bérengère Warneck, at this adress : warneck[at]