Thursday, November 04, 2010

more thoughts, while visiting.

it's energizing to be among postdocs and fellow visitors in the same research area. i feel more productive, like i'm thinking more.

i guess i'm still used to being in a bigger department, despite having been away from one for 2+ years.

to clarify, i don't mean that every idea is a good one. despite this, i think it a good sign, from several viewpoints:

an optimist will say that the more ideas there are, the more good ideas there are.

a pessimist might begrudge you that if all of your ideas are working, then you're not getting enough ideas.

seminars require willpower to work. the members must sacrifice a little time and effort for a greater good.

i remember attending 4-5 seminars weekly as a graduate student. this also meant that i'd give 3 expository seminar talks per term .. which was fine. i learned the talk subjects better than if i had leafed through books and papers, at any rate.

one has to develop a seminar culture, though. for this term, our analysis seminar is dead in the water. (maybe we can change that, for the spring.)

next time i'll talk as early as possible.

it's good to get out of the way. there's another benefit, i suppose: the sooner people know your results, the sooner discussions ensue.

at any rate, today was my talk, which wasn't a disaster.

seeing (a) unfamiliar faces, (b) familiar faces whose corresponding minds don't study metric spaces, and (c) students in the crowd, i became paranoid about giving an accessible talk. so i indulged in 10-15 minutes of discussing the relevant hypotheses on metrιc measμre spacεs.

i think it hurt me in the end, though: i rushed through a technical part in the last few minutes. then again, by the end of a 50-minute talk, who knows if anyone was listening?

a fellow visitor asked me about my talk. i thought she was just being nice, but then she asked about ptwise Lipschιtz extensions and p-harmonic functions!

to further clarify: this was a geometric group theοorist and today i wasn't talking about anything related to ΡDE. it was both surprising and really cool.

(abstractly it occurred to me that lipschitz extensions could be used in geometry, but it never occurred to me that someone would actually ask me.)

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