From: Anton Kapustin @caltech
Subj: Simons Center
would you be interested in spending the coming academic year in Stony Brook, at the Simons Center? They are having a homological algebra program throughout the year, and you could be part of it. I asked John Morgan (the Director) about it, and he says the Center could house you in one of their apartments for visitors (shared housing) and could also pay you an allowance. If you are interested, please let me know ASAP. Morgan also asked for recommendation letters from people who know your work, who should we ask?
Date: 6 июн. в 3:05
thank you for the invitation, which is in fact the first invitation to visit the US that I receive since 2002. The problem is, however, that I cannot enter the US. The American visa application form famously asks "have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime", and in my case, the answer would be "I was arrested about 7 or 8 times in 3 countries (though in fact never convicted of anything)".
As the experience shows, upon receiving this answer the US consulate personnel would logically ask me to bring them the police reports. I've done this once (back in 1999, when I had only one arrest case in my track record, which was in fact in New Hampshire in 1998). The report stated, among other things, that I threatened to kill the police officer who arrested me.
Apparently upon reading this document, the consular officer changed her mind and denied me the previously promised visa. The official justification was that I hadn't proven my intent to return back home (after the Fall 1999 postdoc semester on a program on Galois groups in MSRI, which consequently had to do with my name written in various places, but without my actual participation).
I haven't stepped on the US soil ever since. I thought this story was rather well-known, and it being well-known might actually be the reason for nobody inviting me to the US for so many years. In fact, I am suprised that you apparently haven't heard about it.
Date: 6 июн. в 3:15
I heard that you have had problems getting a US visa, but I did not know the details. This is indeed a serious issue, and it is rather unlikely a consular officer would issue you a visa under these circumstances. I am very sorry you are in this situation. I will tell Morgan that you cannot come because of a visa problem. Did try talking to people at the Hebrew University?
Date: 6 июн. в 10:14
I gave a talk in Jerusalem University ten days ago, and had conversations with Misha Temkin and Yasha Varshavsky before and after the talk. We had fascinating discussions of Perelman and Grothendieck, and how totally useless is Grothendieck for Yasha Varshavsky today and what a hutzpa it is for him to be raising this question.
Yasha also offered me a one-time payment of about 300 shekels (= less than 100 dollars, per diem for the day of my talk, requiring some administrative work to be done in order to have the check issued and subsequently cashed), which I rejected. In a separate development, I was actually paid 6000 shekels (= about 1700 dollars) from some grants in Weizmann Institute for the time period of May 20 - June 8 of me supposedly visiting their institute, however.