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I encountered a description of a person as "математик в законе". Does it mean he is a criminal?
If this is analogy with "вор в законе", then it means respected, authoritative.
First of all, that is almost certainly a joke. It means something like "a villainous mathematician" or "a mathematician gang boss". It depends on context, but usually something like that is a good-natured joke and doesn't mean disrespect.
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