Jet lag but here are some (very hard) math notes

31 Jul

Hi!  I just got back from a fun weeklong trip with two of my best friends from college (you can read about our Turkish bath adventure and making friends with a local on Edward’s blog).  My entire body feels like it’s made out of wet noodles and my head also feels like that delicious chocolate mousse.  You guys, I rock at jet lag.  It takes me three or four days each time to become a functional person again.

In the meantime, I’ll link you to these math notes that I typed up from a mini course that the incredible Matt Clay gave at a summer school I attended in Marseille.  Also, if you want to know why I call Matt incredible (besides his math), go to his website and click on the “running” header.  Ridiculous.  I actually know a few ultramarathoners now (I mean three) and when I read the latest Oatmeal comic, I kept thinking of them.

Anyway, here are the notes, about the Guirardel Core in Outer Space (the other notes on Catherine’s website should help with the definition of Outer Space; these notes define the core).  Someday I’ll edit my website and they’ll be up there (along with those ones from that conference I went to in Haifa).

Also, sometimes when I look at stuff I’m just in total awe of how long it must have taken.  Those notes are 14 pages long and they aren’t that great (for one thing, I just MS Paint-copied the figures from Matt’s handwritten notes), but they still took me probably 15-20 hours to write.  It took 5 hours for Matt to give his lectures.  I probably spent an hour, all told, chatting with him for clarifications.  And it probably took him 7-10 hours to put together the lectures, and countless hours to put together the material for the lectures (aka do the research).  I think as you get farther in academia the better you are at focusing for long stretches of time- I can’t do math for more than an hour at a time, really.  My brain starts turning into how it feels right now.  In college when studying for a math final (or any final) I would study for an hour, then take a break and run a lap around the courtyard or read a comic or eat a banana.  Now it’s sitting on the internet for a few minutes.  Like with you guys right now!

OK that’s my wet noodle head post for ya!  Next one will be more lucid and have more content, I promise!

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