Category: personal

  • Christine Bessenrodt (1958-2022)

    We were pretty close once. It is a shock to read about her passing on Twitter. EWM mourns Christine Bessenrodt, who passed away on January 24 after a serious illness. Christine held the Chair of Algebra and Number Theory at The University of Hannover and she worked in many ways to promote equality for women […]

  • phase transition

    Today, our youngest daughter (aka PD2 on this blog) gave birth to a little boy, Gust. I’m in transition, trying to adjust to this new phase in our lives.

  • Kasha-eating dragons

    This semester I’m teaching a first course in representation theory. On campus, IRL! It’s a bit strange, using a big lecture room for a handful of students, everyone wearing masks, keeping distances, etc. So far, this is their only course on campus, so it has primarily a social function. The breaks in between are infinitely…

  • this one’s for M.

    and for everyone else feeling a bit lost in these tiring times. Photo credit: @itoldmythe

  • taking stock

    The one thing harder than to start blogging after a long period of silence is to stop when you think you’re still in the flow. (image credit Putnam Consulting) The Januari 1st post a math(arty) 2018 was an accident. I only wanted to share this picture, of a garage-door with an uncommon definition of prime…

  • a wintry chataigneraie

    It took us some time to clear the array of old chestnut trees. But it paid off. A good harvest easily gives half a ton of chestnuts, including some rare, older varieties. In the autumn, the coloured leaves make a spectacular view. Now it looks rather desolate. But, the wind piles up the fallen leaves…

  • Brancusi’s advice : avoid vampires

    My one and only resolution for 2018: ban vampires from my life! Here’s the story. In the 1920’s, Montparnasse was at the heart of the intellectual and artistic life in Paris because studios and cafés were inexpensive. Artists including Picasso, Matisse, Zadkine, Modigliani, Dali, Chagall, Miro, and the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi all lived there.…

  • Stirring a cup of coffee

    Please allow for a couple of end-of-semester bluesy ramblings. I just finished grading the final test of the last of five courses I lectured this semester. Most of them went, I believe, rather well. As always, it was fun to teach an introductory group theory course to second year physics students. Personally, I did enjoy…

  • NaNoWriMo (3)

    In 2001, Eugenia Cheng gave an interesting after-dinner talk Mathematics and Lego: the untold story. In it she compared math research to fooling around with lego. A quote: “Lego: the universal toy. Enjoyed by people of all ages all over the place. The idea is simple and brilliant. Start with some basic blocks that can…

  • NaNoWriMo (2)

    Two more days to go in the NaNoWriMo 2016 challenge. Alas, it was clear from the outset that I would fail, bad. I didn’t have a sound battle plan. Hell, I didn’t even have a a clue which book to write… But then, I may treat myself to a SloWriMo over the Christmas break. For…