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Scenes at a maths conference

We’re all trying to combat the stereotypes of mathematicians: we try our best to make our work accessible to the public; we wear clean clothes and make eye contact; some of us even had the good sense to be female. But sometimes, the woolly-headed mathematician of legend materialises in his pure form.

Here, in his own words, are a few things that happened at a conference recently attended by one of my friends.

Scene 1

Someone asked what area I work in. When I told them, they asked if I’d heard of the work of “X, Y and some other guy”.

I’m the other guy.

Scene 2

During a talk, the speaker referenced our curvature upper bound, saying they forgot the names of the authors, but it didn’t matter because they weren’t there.

I was there 😭

Did you say anything?

A few other people pointed and laughed at me.

Scene 3

I did something similar during my talk. Someone said he was working on such and such. I said that sounded like the work Lipner does.

I was talking to Lipner.

Scene 4

Someone brought a colleague over to introduce me to him, because we have similar research interests.

We’d already written 3 papers together.

2 Responses to “Scenes at a maths conference”

  1. Avatar Daryl

    I enjoy your blog, thanks! But what is with the picture accompanying your facebook posts? A giant graphing calculator? Why?


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