Friday, May 03, 2013

stranger in a familiar land: more disparate bits.

i've not posted much this week, and i credit this to a good but tiring workshop. it's easy to forget that conference days are always longer than initially measured: besides the talks, there are lunches and dinners and discussions over coffee and .. other beverages, sometimes late into the evening.

it's come more prominently to my attention that i'm a high-functioning introvert, as are many mathematicians. subsequently i've been waking as early as conveniently possible, if only to "recharge" with the morning quiet before the happy frenzy of the workshop begins anew.

at any rate, due to the lack of energy i have had only these small thoughts in the last few days to share ..

chairs at IΡAM are really comfortable, both in the lecture room and in the lobby. (as it happens, there seems to be only one main lecture room; i suppose the architecture is meant to host small groups with common interests.)

i either don't understand measures or i don't understand derivatives. it's a troublesome thing not to understand what exactly it is that one doesn't understand.

(Short) proofs in talks are great, as long as they are optimised for clarity and exposition. seeing a good one, i feel like the speaker is inviting me into a personal world of curiosity and focus.

one talk made it to slide #19 .. of seventeen! (-:

i'm developing this habit of whispering to my neighboring audience member during talks.

most of the time it's a question or remark immediately relevant to the subject of the talk, so i don't feel so guilty about it. despite this, the practice of loud talking during talks is like loud talking during a film at a cinema, so i suppose one should apply one's own good sense about it.

you know what would really be cool? conference wikis. it seems to me that the point of a conference is to bring together people with a few common interests and see connections between topics.

there's already a practice of posting $\LaTeX$-Beamer PDFs (even videos) of talks and lectures online. the thing is, standard wiki markup is just as easy as $\LaTeX$ markup, if not easier, so there's no heavy obstruction to tag/link talk slides of speakers together into a search-able network. (despite the horrendous number of slides listed in the corners of screens, often these are pauses within a fixed slide. as a result, the amount of text in 30 slides = 60 minutes isn't that much code to convert, i think.)

this would be especially helpful for the participating grad students, right? it is they who could make the most effective use of these connections-made-visible!

in other news, i'm gathering allies for the siege. i feel pretty good about the proof now, that it is correct and clear, does what it's supposed to do, and doesn't do more than it's meant to do.

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