How Successful Mathematicians Work

I have found (hat tip: Yuri Kryakin)  a great interview in Russian with Ivan Panin, where he reminesces, inter alia, about his teacher, a prominent mathematician Andrei Suslin and the way he works.  The whole text is pretty long and very interesting but it is quite difficult to find reasonably self-contained excerpts to translate into English for those who don’t speak Russian, so let me give you just one bit as a teaser:

Suslin tackled the problems roughly as follows: first we see [the problem or the result to prove], then we believe [that we can solve it or that we can prove the result], and then we prove it. Because if you don’t believe, you will not have your vision materialized.

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