Saturday, July 18, 2009

you can do a lot of math, even when you don't know how to do any, at first.

not much to say, lately.

regarding research, i've just begun a new project collaboration. it's too early for me to say anything other than this:

i'm glad my collaborators know more than i do about the subject. we'd otherwise make incredibly little progress, since my own knowledge of the subject is fleeting and paltry.

in contrast, they have a knack for asking the right questions and recalling relevant proofs.

actually, it's like joining experienced lead climbers on an expedition.

they judge the rock face, i may add a few remarks, but ultimately they will lead the way.

for now, the best i seem to do is to belay them. if all goes well and i understand, then i may mimic their ways in a top-roping route.

so i'm learning and re-learning a lot.

perhaps, given enough mental incubation time, i can start contributing a fairer share of the ideas.

regarding writing, i've almost convinced myself that, by next week, i'll have a rough but complete draft of a manuscript.

today i wrote a bad introduction so that, later, i'll be able to write a decent one.

some researchers know exactly what to say -- specifically, what to say first and how to say it, as to catch the interest of the reader.

i have no such skill. it takes me quite a few tries -- more than i care to admit -- before i can say something intelligible.

i'm sure that my students, from last semester, would easily agree. (-:

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