Highway to health

I had a rude awakening a few weeks ago when I realized I was driving with almost no brakes. I commute to work (45 minutes each way), so driving is a big part of my day. I knew something was not quite right with my car but I kept ignoring it and putting it off because I was too busy. “I’ll get to it when the semester is over,” is my motto for pretty much anything that is not work-related (and some that is, like research). But only after realizing that (had I not been pressured by a colleague to get my car checked out) I could have ended up driving on I-95 at 70 miles an hour with no brakes did I see how messed up and dangerous this life philosophy is.

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Coffee into Theorems

coffeeHungarian mathematician¬†Alfred Renyi famously said that “a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.” (The quote is often attributed, incorrectly, to Renyi’s much more famous colleague, Paul Erdos.) I, like Erdos, am an avid drinker of coffee, albeit a less prolific producer of theorems (but not for lack of trying). More importantly, I enjoy doing my work¬†in coffee shops. It provides a sense of being connected to the world, and lots of coffee, while still being calm enough to get some work done. But not all coffee shops are created equal, so in this post, I would like to describe some essential features of a good “work” coffee shop.

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A random walk through women’s (math) history

Today is the last day of Women’s History Month. I thought this would be as good a time as any to share some (maybe random) thoughts I’ve had on the topic in the past month.

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