Saturday, August 28, 2010

september (not april) is the cruellest month ..

it's almost september.

that used to mean one thing: the undergrads are returning to campus, and that we have to teach some of them .. but now, it's a sign of additional things to come:

  1. nsf grant applications for analysιs;
    the deadlines are in early october. [sighs]

    in the words of ρaul graham,

    ... I'd forgotten why I hated it so much ... Money matters are particularly likely to become the top idea in your mind. The reason is that they have to be. It's hard to get money. It's not the sort of thing that happens by default. It's not going to happen unless you let it become the thing you think about in the shower. And then you'll make little progress on anything else you'd rather be working on.

    (I hear similar complaints from friends who are professors. Professors nowadays seem to have become professional fundraisers who do a little research on the side. It may be time to fix that.)

    ~ from "the top idea in your mind"

    re-reading last year's grant proposal, i wince. it's not painful to read, but it's technical .. more technical than i'd like.

    perhaps every maths researcher can say this about his own research, but mine is a field where there's an automatic 3-5 page tax on explaining the basic objects in the theory. [1] it can be a particularly damaging tax, especially when having only 15 pages in a proposal to exposit my meagre ideas.

    it doesn't help that i was trying to explain 3 different theories .. [sighs]

    so in efforts to write something readable, i'm throwing some projects away and adding others.

    for instance, forget metrιc currents: i don't want to explain them.
    i'm going to discuss ΡDEs and regularity instead [2].

    i've been talking for a while about "giving up geometry" anyway, so i might as well stick to my guns ..

  2. the job search: there are few ads up, which looks dismal. then again, the semester has barely started; hiring committees probably haven't arranged to meet yet, and the university bureaucracies probably haven't yet approved funding for any open positions.

    still, i see enough november deadlines that .. [sighs]

    i don't want to talk about this, right now.

[1] to you experts out there: i mean upper gradιents, newtοnian spaces, cheegεr differentiatiοn, etc ..

[2] well, not exactly; i actually meant variatiοnal problems, but close enough.

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