Saturday, August 30, 2008

an old friend, an unexpected encounter.

after teaching my afternoon class yesterday, i sat at my office desk and tried to convince myself to work. i wasn't very successful. then i heard a knock and i opened the door.

if i tell you that it was my friend Rμpert, then at first it wouldn't be surprising.

what would make it slightly surprising is that we were math majors together at pittsburgh, and he left when i did, five years ago. we both went to math grad school: i to ann arbor and he to pasadena. of course you can't account for someone after s/he defends a thesis, but i wouldn't have expected him in pittsburgh.

what would make it surprising is that i actually understand what he does, as a mathematician. he's related to the hyperb01ic ge0metry mafia: the pseudo-anosov flows, the dynamics, the foliations, all of that. i've heard of his advisor, and i've taken classes and heard talks by people whose work he studies.

he might even know what a qua$ic0nf0rmal mappin9 is;
i forgot to ask him, earlier.

odd. he once told me that he studied these things called braid groups, and i assumed the worst, that is, he became a closet algebraist. q;

as for good news, he will also be employed soon, as a postdoc in the chicago area.

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