The Fortune of Mathematicians

a weekly roundup of cartoons, links, and breathless summaries

I just got back from the most exciting and undeserved week of my year: the Heidelberg Laureate Forum.


It gathers, in an adorable German city, 25 laureates of math and computer scientists (winners of the Fields Medal, Abel Prize, Turing Award, etc.) along with 200 young researchers (students and postdocs), for a week of lectures, discussions, and fancy dinners at museums like this:


Among my favorite activities of the week is ambushing the young researchers and asking them to draw cartoons for me. You can find three posts on the HLF blog:

If Your Research Were a One-Page Cartoon

Image (9)

It’s the Fifth HLF. What Will the Next Five Years Bring?

Image (7)

What Does Good Mentoring Look Like?

Image (10)

Since it’s drawn by people other than me, this stuff already surpasses my usual fare, but for even better art, you can check out the work of my pal Coni Rojas-Molina, who did some great posts for the HLF blog:

coni hairer

On the mentoring side of things, Alaina Levine did a two-part interview with Vinton Cerf, one of the creators of the internet. (Pretty great line on a C.V., if you ask me.)

You should also check out the coverage by Katie Steckles and Paul Taylor, a delightful (read: English) couple with two math PhD’s between them. I especially recommend Leslie Lamport Thinks Your Proofs are Bad and What is a rotogon?

I enjoyed hearing Nana Liu plan out her piece on deep learning – another good read.

A necessary conversation-starter comes from Marcus Strom, who asks whether the HLF is doing all it can to support young women in the male-dominated fields of math and CS.

And if you want to relive the action moment by moment, check out the HLF Twitter feed, which was expertly run by Tobias Maier.

Lastly, for completeness’s sake, here are the cartoons I posted on Facebook this week:

2017.9.25 mean value theorem2017.9.26 fortune cookies2017.9.28 ewes can dance2017.9.29 job approval

5 thoughts on “The Fortune of Mathematicians

Leave a Reply