Conferences

I was at the MAA MathFest yesterday and today. When I go to professional conferences, I invariably focus on going to as many talks that sound interesting.

However, it seems like a greedy algorithm that might only succeed in burning me out.

A few of my colleagues suggested using it more as a chance to catch up with former colleagues. I also know it is an important networking opportunity, but I find it more difficult to organically create conversation in professional situations than in casual situations.

Why, though? Impostor syndrome? Situational shyness? Something else?

Once in N years

When I have kibitzed Howard Schutzman’s (Hondo717) bridge sessions on Bridge Base, he sometimes tells us of the hands which are likely to come up “once every five years.”

Well, I have a question for my readers who play bridge. A bidding quiz, if you will. And it came from my dealing-and-bidding simulator that I am working on alongside my summer SURE student.

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Six and eleven

Oftentimes when you see the word “and” between two numbers, you think of a plus sign. Well, obviously then the answer is seventeen.

Cue the Humbug yelling a wrong answer, or preparing to eat six more bowls of FAMINE.

It’s not coincidental that the year is two thousand and seventeen, because today’s date is also significant, from seventeen years ago.

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Multimodal

The picture is an old one from last summer, but I still wish to use it once again. It’s part of the story from yesterday and today. If you recall from M.A.P.L.E. V, I had a post entitled “Manifold.” This is yet another good thing to talk about.

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Yesterday, my summer research student met with me at 09:00 instead of 14:00. I was due (or maybe overdue!) for an oil change, so I headed to Racine with a car, and also with my folding bike in the trunk.

I had planned, during the oil change, to go eat lunch at a nearby Chick-Fil-A, just for the heck of it. Indeed, I got a spicy chicken sandwich (no cheese of course) and waffle fries for free (plus $7.20 for shipping and handling :p [and I probably shouldn’t use that quote since I don’t actually know where it comes from!]).

But just before I got in line, Wally World called me and said that one of my tires had damage on the side wall. This resulted in a three-ring circus between myself, Walmart Auto, and my Dad for advice on the situation.

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Evidently the damage was such that the tire was unsafe to drive on, but they didn’t have the identical tire or a superior brand in store. They said that they could get it today, and therefore I took advantage of being bimodal! Since I was already riding my bike anyway, I just rode it the 9 miles back to my apartment without any problem.

Then, today I returned to Walmart on the same two wheels after meetings and lunch, and the car repair was completed.

It really makes me happy that ever since I have started riding my bike, I’ve always been in a situation where I have at least two viable alternatives (excluding cabs) to any failed mode of transportation. If my car isn’t working, I can ride my bike, walk, or take public transit depending on where I am.

If my folding bike is out of service, I can ride my road bike or vice-versa in good conditions. (Of course, I am now wary about riding my road bike if my folding bike is out of service, due to the Rule of Three. Number One was The November Crash, and Number Two was the March Larceny. Though I know that those were merely coincidences.)

And when it’s too icy to ride my bike, I’ve got four wheels or two feet!

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MathFest: 7 days

Nebraska Regional: 18 days

Semester Kickoff: 49 days

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Open Campus

Open Campus is defined, at least in the States, as the opposite of Closed Campus, and is frequently applied to high schools during the lunch period.

If a school has an Open-Campus rule, students are allowed to leave campus to eat lunch. If the school is Closed-Campus, students must receive an excuse in order to leave the school for lunch.

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