Welcome to the JMM 2013 blog

Welcome to the JMM 2013 blog. Adriana Salerno, assistant professor at Bates College, is the blog’s main contributor.

Tyler Clark, PhD student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL, will be a guest blogger on this JMM 2013 Blog. Tyler, a graduate of Western Kentucky University and editor-in-chief of the AMS Graduate Student Blog, will also be in the AMS exhibit area (in aisle 800) to show visitors the AMS Grad Student Blog and discuss blog topics.

Blurry photos of smart people

Paul Zorn tells us about communicating mathematics.








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Stay classy, San Diego

The exhibit hall, or what was left of it at 5pm on Saturday.

The last day of the meetings involved lots of talks as usual, but a bit less variety. There was definitely less going on Saturday, and with the exhibits closing at noon and many people leaving in the afternoon, the convention center sort felt like a ghost town. As I sit here, finally home, nursing the JMM cold that was going around (someone needs to model that), I can’t help but miss the people and the general mathy joy of the JMM.  Read more »

My Man Friday

Seems like I learned my lesson on Thursday, and Friday turned out to be a sequence of well-executed plans. I went to some good talks (one of them was particularly excellent, but more on that later), had lunch with my collaborators, was finally able to make it through all of the exhibits, went to a math play, and to a reception. A far cry from the day before, I must say.

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The day of not taking many pictures

Raman Parimala tells us about Hensel's Lemma.

As mentioned in the post about Day 2, I didn’t go to very many talks. I also didn’t take many photos. Here is the one photo of the one talk I went to.

Day 1, illustrated

I forgot my good camera at home for this JMM, so all I have are blurry camera phone pictures of everything. Here are some photos of Day 1. Read more »

The day of missed talks

As what seems to be a tradition for me, Day 2 of the meetings was not nearly as productive as Day 1. I thought I would not only share what I did, but also what I meant to do but didn’t.

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Conversation overheard in the Marriott elevator

After we have all crammed into an elevator, and as the doors are closing, we notice someone getting on to an empty elevator all by himself.

Man: Hey, why does that guy get to take the elevator all by himself?

Woman: The nerve! Let’s beat him up!


Woman: That way, he can say he got beat up by mathematicians.

Man: How do you know we’re all mathematicians?

Woman: Oh, it’s an educated guess. That’s what mathematicians do, right?

(More laughter.)

Man: But what if I told you I’m not a mathematician?

Woman: I have no way of knowing you’re telling the truth.

Man: But I would know we’re not all mathematicians. I would still be a counterexample!

Someone in the back: You’re a mathematician.

I do love some math humor.

Busy Day

It has certainly been a busy day. This is my second time attending the Joint Math Meetings (my first being San Francisco in 2010). Many things have changed in this short time; however, the joy of seeing thousands of brilliant mathematicians in one place has not. I attended the following talks:

  • Polynomials with No Zeros on a Face of the Bidisk (G. Knese)
  • TheCategorified Super-Poincaré Superalgebra and String Theory (J. Huerta)
  • On the Erdös Sós Conjecture and Graphs Without a P_{k+4} (G. Tiner)
  • Divided Difference Operator on Highest Root Hessenberg Varities (N. Teff)
  • On the Structure of Automorphisms and Symmetric Spaces of Dicyclic Groups (A. Bishop)
  • Using Difference Equations to Generalize Results for Periodic Nested Radicals (C. Lynd)
  • Diophantine Applications of the Theory of Expansion and Spectral Gaps in Thin Groups (J. Bourgain)

As is usual with most JMM talks (for me at least), much of the content was over my head; however, the beauty of the theory makes up for it. I love being able to listen to what others are researching even if I cannot completely understand.

My two favorite talks were the ones by Lynd and Bishop. Lynd’s research is similar to the research I did for my Master’s thesis. It is always nice to meet folks doing things similar to you. I was able to speak with Lynd a little bit and get some insight from him. In essence, this is really the greatest part of JMM – networking.

I learned about some new opportunities for graduate students (expect a blog on the AMS Graduate Student blog soon). I was also able to spend some time in the AMS exhibit area and talk with folks about the blog. This was another great opportunity for meeting people.

Meeting new friends, reconnecting with old friends, and learning math – nothing could make for a better day.

Holy Diego!

As expected, the first day was as action-packed as ever. And by action-packed I really mean math-filled. I went to six Number Theory talks, learned about industrial strength mathematics, and delighted in seeing the mathematics used to make Pixar movies. I probably should have seen it as a sign when even before registering I had already spotted one of the most famous mathematicians in attendance, Fields medalist Cedric Villani. The day did not disappoint (the weather on the other hand… I thought it was supposed to be “sunny San Diego”).

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Schedule and scheduling

Here I am, five years after my first JMM blog post, thinking and planning my first day of the conference. I’m surrounded by mathematicians and have already run into so many people I lost count. I must say, I wish we’d had something like the personal scheduler during my first JMM. It is really helping me keep track of what talks and events I want to attend. Here are some things I’m looking forward to tomorrow:

  • MAA Session on the Beauty and Power of Number Theory.
  • AMS Special Session on Number Theory and Geometry.
  • Any other Number Theory session, really.
  • AMS-MAA Invited Address: Using mathematics to better understand the Earth’s climate by Emily Shuckburgh.
  • AWM Panel Discussion: The retention of women in mathematics.
  • MAA Invited Address: Industrial strength mathematics in academia by Suzanne Weekes.
  • MAA Invited Address: How mathematics has changed Hollywood by Tony DeRose.
  • Legacy of R.L. Moore reception.
  • AWM reception.

Seems like too much? It is! But that’s the best part of the Joint Math Meetings, isn’t it? Where else do you find too many math talks to go to? Hope you’re all having a good arrival to San Diego and pre-day. I will start posting more detailed stories tomorrow. Welcome to the 2013 Join Math Meetings!