I am not a man of spectacular interests: I do not go surfing (I cannot swim), I do not go hang-gliding (I cannot fly), but I do enjoy rambling (I can walk) and to a certain degree art, literature and music (I have senses).
I should like to highlight, however, five places where I am particularly happy:
My parents initiated me in rambling, a hobby which I took up later with the Agrupació Excursionista Pedraforca and the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya. I have tried to transmit these values to my children and they now take part in, at a high level, various mountain sports.
From year 2005 to 2007 I have been Vice-president of the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya and until 2011 I was the Commissioner for Documental Heritage.
I have co-ordinated the setting up of the Historic Archive (1876-), the cataloguing and digitalization of the historical maps collection, the integration of the Library into the Catàleg Col·lectiu de les Universitats de Catalunya, the digitalization of the Butlletí (from 1876 to 1938) and that of ancient books in the Library (by an agreement with Google) and we have worked on the inventory and digitalization of the Artistic Heritage. In 2009 we started a 7 years long project that allowed the digitalization, documentation and integration in the Memòria Digital de Catalunya of the more than 300.000 images of the Photographic Archive.
I never fail to go up to La Garrotxa, in Sant Joan les Fonts each year: when I was a child, 3 months in summer with my parents; as an adult, 2 months with my wife and children in our own house; now a few days with the grandchildren. Sant Joan has been my second home.
Doctorate at the ETH in Zurich and postdoc at the FIM, I lived for 5 years in Niederhasli, some of the happiest days of my life. I go back to Switzerland whenever I can. It is my second homeland; my first is Catalonia of course. I identify with their way of organisation, work and respect for others and their love of nature and their country.
My parents educated me in the love to my country, Catalonia, thus opposing the assimilation process imposed by the Spanish authorities. I have always regarded my country above my professional and personal interests. The founding motto of the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica was “growing in mathematics, fostering our country”, a maxim to which I have always remained faithful. Now that I am over 70 years of age, I am living intensely the political process towards the independence of Catalonia which, if successful, it will be one of the greatest rewards of my life.
This is for me one of the most important values in society. I feel even more at home here than in the mountains, in la Garrotxa or in Switzerland.
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