about teamwork

Teamwork requires the observation of a minimal amount of rules: a) Statements or proofs within a team-publication, which are not explicitly attributed to a specified member, belong to the whole team; b) Concerning the internal team-work, the members are bound to an amount of discretion avoiding cacophony.

As far as I know, the publication

Gabriel P.,  Nazarova L.A., Roiter A.V., Sergeichuk V.V., Vossieck D., Tame and wild subspace problems, Ukrainian Journ. of Math. 45 (1993), 335-372

is one of the 17 teamworks listed in the present  homepage, where the above  rules have been strictly observed. Nonethless, I wonder to-day wether I really deserved to be quoted in this case within the list of authors, since my contribution was more a linguistic than a mathematical one. As I can remember, Roiter submitted to me a text ready for publication and containing the main statements of the 5-authors-article quoted above. The only point was that the proofs used techniques of the theory of matrices and that Roiter wanted to have them translated into the language of Linear Algebra. This is what I did, although the original techniques seemed quite interesting…

Quite different is the case of the publication

Bautista R., Gabriel P., Roiter A.V., Salmerón L., Representation-finite algebras and multiplicative bases, Inventiones mathematicae 81 (1985), 217-286,

which stirred up some emotions. The team-work considered here was singular because the four authors came from three quite different countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain and had no internet at their disposal. In the 12 months lasting cooperation they never met all together. As for me, I never spoke with A.V. Roiter during all this time and I only met R. Bautista and L. Salmeron after 10 months, when the work was fairly ready for being typed. Nonetheless, there was one advantage: The workflow is well documented in writing. There are no differences between the authors about that (see the end of our list of publications).

So it is all the more astonishing that an uninvolved person feels called to evaluate publicly the merits of individual team members and even to publish over years reckless fallacies in a homepage of his employer – without revealing his non convincing sources, without informing concerned persons. See C. M. Ringel’s article

Bautista and the Development of the Representation Theory of Artin Algebras, Proceedings XV Latinamerican Colloquium of Algebra, Contemporary Mathematics 376. Amer.Math.Soc.(2005), 89-103

or                    http://www.math.uni-bielefeld.de/~ringel/opus/bautista.pdf

When I discovered by pure chance the outbreaks of Ringel’s imagination in august 2013, I strove to disabuse him. I asked Ringel why he did not bestow any right of priority on Leonardo; he simply answered: I shall look into the matter! I told Ringel that all four authors were already acquainted with “nasty” contours, their common property, when they decided to join together in a common work, some time before spring 1983. I even entrusted him, with a request for discretion, ­the original version of my contribution. And the two still living coauthors confirmed the correctness of my report.

Unfortunately, Ringel then found no time within 2 years to read the decisive page of my account. His fallacies still grace the quoted homepage of the university of Bielefeld. He simply advised me to publish my account as he did. Historians – whose most elementary rules are simply ignored by Ringel – would then have to pass sentence. Sad? Yes, depressing! Disgusting even?

Maybe, Peter Rásonyi will allow me to quote here a remark of his upon the royal court of England: Wegen der legendären Verschwiegenheit und Loyalität des engsten Umfelds am Hof sind jene, die angeblich intime Kenntnisse verbreiten, in aller Regel schlecht informiert (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 05/02/2015)

A last important question concerns the use of internet in quarrels between scholars. Over two sad years, I really did my best to avoid setting a precedent. Now, Ringel got all possible information from me  ̶  and the needed confirmation from Bautista. His mistakes thus turned into lies, which still ‘adorn’ prominent pages of his ‘public’ homepage, whereas his minimal step-by-step corrections are relegated to remote edges. Finally, I cannot hide my pique any more and beg my readers pardon for that.


Readers interested in more details may click on the linking words timing and rectifications .