Saturday, September 03, 2011

the storm before the calm.

today's my third day in helsinki as a visiting postdoc, but there's quite a bit left to do before i'm officially in the finnish system, both the government and the university.

namely, i'm still missing;
  • a finnish social security number (so that i can open a bank account),
  • a bank account (so that i can be paid by the university),
  • a (more permanent) place to live (so that i can work and therefore be paid [1]),
  • also: a university computer account.
it's a non-trivial thing to obtain an apartment, at least this time of year:
apparently helsinki suffers from the fall rush of new college students, just like many cities around the world.

the system for apartment rentals is also different from what i've seen in the states, too: it's not uncommon that one submits an application for renting a particular apartment, attends a viewing day with all the other applicants, and the landlord(s) then choose a tenant.
that said, i never realised how convenient the process is, in the states. usually it's just an issue of what you can afford.

with all of these things in mind, i can't help but feel hyper-transient in an already transient situation (as mine's a 1-year position). honestly it's hard to concentrate on anything, much less maths.

today's the first day in a week that i could sit down and work on something!
as for what i'm working on ..

i think i'm going to set aside this recent argument (regarding a conjecture of cheegεr). maybe by spending some time apart from it, i can later see more clearly which ideas are crucial and what really makes the proof work.

besides, there are other papers to edit. it's been a while since i submitted a preprint, and one of them is almost ready ..

on the bright side, this looks to be a fine workplace for me.
i rarely say this, but i have a good feeling about this.

between aalto and helsinki uni, there are plenty of postdocs and visitors, which makes for a lively crowd. i have friends and cordial colleagues here, some of which i met in previous times and places. mathematically, many of us speak the same language!

also, my post-doctoral mentor is really cool and his group's research interests sound like fun. i think i'll learn a lot about nonlinear parabοlic ΡDE from them -- who knows? maybe even contribute something myself ..

.. so as long as i can survive the winter here, i think i'm set. (-:

[1] admittedly, i might have the direction of causality wrong, there .. \-:

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