By many measures, Nicolas Bourbaki ranks among the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century.
Largely unknown today, Bourbaki is likely the last mathematician to master nearly all aspects of the field. A consummate collaborator, he made fundamental contributions to important mathematical fields such as set theory and functional analysis. He also revolutionized mathematics by emphasizing rigor in place of conjecture.
There’s just one problem: Nicolas Bourbaki never existed.