Thursday, March 20, 2014

Push and pull.

So I lost a debate with my co-authors, but it doesn't bother me. I guess it shows that we work well together and that I can trust them to tell me when I'm wrong about something.

The important thing about maths is that one remains with what is correct. Often it means that one has to be wrong on occasion, and to realise why. More and more it seems important to me to fail, if only to be aware of how far I am pushing what I knew and what I really understand.

It also seems that the way American universities are structured doesn't allow for this. Sometimes I wonder how new mathematicians come out off the woodwork, and if this explains why it takes so long to get the hang of research... that is, if one ever gets the hang of it.

I like Europe. I didn't realise the extent to which I missed it, how the universities work.

Of course life is always more appealing as a guest.. but being in Spain reminds me of those years in Finland when I was a semi permanent resident and slowly becoming a local. I wonder often enough if I should have stayed and tried for a permanent position.. maybe teach a course or two, co-advise a student, convince my sponsoring department that I might be a good guy to keep around.

Odd. I'd be scared to death of advising a Ph.d. student here in the States, but in Finland it would be more doable.

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