To start the year, I wanted to see what my students thought of mathematics.
Biathletes aren't the world's best skiers. And they're not the world's best shooters. They've just found a hybrid task that perfectly suits their weird mixture of talents.
The people in your life will continue to shape you, just as you shaped each other, just as you shaped me, just as I perhaps, in some small way, helped to shape you (if only to instill a fearful awe of complex numbers).
How long do you keep items before throwing them out?
Last week, 6,000 mathematicians met in Baltimore. I asked them, in one sheet of paper each, to capture why they loved math.
Rest in peace, Neil Armstrong – you who did what any human could name, and what none could fathom.
And now we come to my third sentiment, the one occupying the greatest real estate in my thoughts.
Most of all, it’s been wonderful reading your stories. Far and away the most common response – and my favorite type to read – has been: “Ah yes, I remember the time that happened to me…” Your tales of academic struggle run from elementary school to research postdocs, from mathematics to English Lit.