Share with us an anecdote about Albert Benveniste

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    • Pierre-François LAGET on 2015/05/12 at 5:57 PM
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    Browsing for some complicated reasons on the INRIA site, I just zero in on a guy called Albert Benveniste. Benveniste? Albert???? Yes: age, smile… that must be the pupil I was at Lycée Condorcet with in the sixties.

    Albert was the most frustrating guy I ever went across. That’s simple: he was the best at absolutely everything. Math, physics? Not worth mentioning. Literature, greek? One of our teachers was a Prix Goncourt writer (Roger Ikor, great, very great man): of course Albert had read all his books – “Les Fils d’Avrom” cycle. Music? When he was 14 or 15, he knew half of the “Ring” by heart and he made me discover Hindemith and some other composers of the 20th century. Sport? Ahah! Weakness: occasionally, he was only N° 2.

    Anyway, one day in physics course we had to work on a kind of a stupid problem about oscillating masses. When using a single spring, that was easy; but with two springs and two masses (spring – mass – spring – mass), that was far from my limited level. Albert decided to make an experiment: he dismantled ball point pens and made an oscillating contraption with the springs, an eraser and a pencil sharpener. He looked satisfied with the experimental result, finished the essay 15 minutes before everybody (as usual) and got the best result of the class (as routinely).

    That’s all. Salut Bébert!

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