Category Archives: Day 4

An icy finish to a warm conference

I call this "Ice, ice, baby." Taken from the Skybridge from the Hyatt to the Marriott. Today, I was thankful for the post-apocalyptic compound properties of our meeting.

Taken from the Skybridge from the Hyatt to the Marriott. Today, I was thankful for the post-apocalyptic compound properties of our meeting venue.

Saturday morning Atlanta was covered (literally) in ice. As the last day of the meetings, this added an extra dose of excitement (OK, stress) to the proceedings. I was at the AWM Special Session in Number Theory, showcasing work from the Women in Numbers – Europe and the Women in Numbers 3 workshops. In between talks (OK, maybe sometimes even during talks), everyone was frantically checking their flight status on their phones . I heard stories from people taking an hour to walk five blocks the previous night, of people stuck at the airport, and of people trying to find a room to crash in, and maybe happier stories of people being able to see talks they were interested in or the movie Hidden Figures as a result of being stuck.

At the airport it was like seeing an extension of the JMM. The gates were full of mathematicians sharing stories about the meetings, running into old friends, and even doing a little more networking. My own flight was delayed so much that I missed my connection (I’m on my way to another conference in Melbourne, Australia), so I write this post from my friends’ couch in LA, who happened to be on my same flight. I’m still seeing posts today about people trying to make their way back home, or celebrating that they’re finally there.

It seems like a strange, cold ending for a conference that was quite the opposite: warm, welcoming, inspiring, and energizing.  We hope everyone is making it safely home or wherever their math adventures take them, and we hope that we have given you a good glimpse into the wonderful, exhausting, and action-packed annual experience that is the Joint Mathematics Meetings, and we hope to see you in San Diego in 2018!

If you’ve liked our writing, make sure to check out our other gigs! You can find Beth at the AMS blog Ph.D. + epsilon, Anna at the AMS Blog on Math Blogs, Kelsey at her PBS YouTube show Infinite Series, and soon you will be able to find me on a new AMS Blog called Inclusion/Exclusion, about diversity and inclusion in mathematics (link forthcoming).

The new editorial board for the AMS Inclusion/Exclusion blog at the AWM reception (left to right): Piper Harron, yours truly, Brian Katz, and Edray Goins (not pictured, Luis Leyva).

The new editorial board for the AMS Inclusion/Exclusion blog at the AWM reception (left to right): Piper Harron, yours truly, Brian Katz, and Edray Goins (not pictured, Luis Leyva).

And We’re Off…

Justin Marks of Gonzaga University, pausing in his run between sessions.

Justin Marks of Gonzaga University, pausing in the skybridge on a run between sessions.

Saturday afternoon was full of running around and saying goodbye.  I ran into Justin Marks, of Gonzaga University, who had literally been running around the conference.  He decided that wearing running clothes and jogging between sessions made the most sense in the sprawling Atlanta meeting.  He also had been jogging in to the meetings in the morning “My hotel is like 10 minutes away–I have to move fast to avoid frostbite!” he says.

A Night of Receptions!

Last night was one of those magical JMM nights of hopping from receptions to repletion. Somehow we made it though this labyrinth of hotels to attend the reception for Mathematical Reviews, something I started doing a few years ago and absolutely love. Next we hit up the poster session and reception for the AWM. And finally, our night ended at the fabulous Project NExT reception, where there was blessedly a great spread bread and cheese. Below are a few photos from the night.

James Ricci (Daemen College) and Justin Sawon (U. of N. Carolina Chapel Hill) chat with Ursula Witcher (AMS) about her work with the AMS Math Reviews.

James Ricci (Daemen College) and Justin Sawon (U. of N. Carolina Chapel Hill) chat with Ursula Witcher (AMS) about her work with the AMS Math Reviews.

Graduate student Alicia Marino (Wesleyan University) presents her results at the AWM poster session last night.

Graduate student Alicia Marino (Wesleyan University) presents her results at the AWM poster session last night.

Francis Su addresses the assembled NExTers at last night's reception. He reminds us "Find someone, and be their advocate!"

Francis Su addresses the assembled NExTers at last night’s reception. He reminds us “Find someone, and be their advocate!”

Green Dot Ben Linowitz (Oberlin College), Brown Dot Lola Thompson (Oberlin College), and Gold Dot Anna Haensch (Duquesne University) catching up at the reception.

Green Dot Ben Linowitz (Oberlin College), Brown Dot Lola Thompson (Oberlin College), and Gold Dot Anna Haensch (Duquesne University) catching up at the reception.

Project NExT Director David Kung (St. Mary's College of Maryland) inspires us from atop a chair.

Project NExT Director David Kung (St. Mary’s College of Maryland) inspires us from atop a chair.

Local max and min at the Project NExT Reception.  Barry Minemyer (The Ohio State University), Bernadette Boyle (Sacred Heart University), and Andrew Lazowski (Sacred Heart University)

Local max and min at the Project NExT Reception. Barry Minemyer (The Ohio State University), Bernadette Boyle (Sacred Heart University), and Andrew Lazowski (Sacred Heart University)

Panel On Math And Creativity

Robert Schneider, Samuel Hansen, Anna Haensch, and Tim Chartier

Robert Schneider, Samuel Hansen, Anna Haensch, and Tim Chartier

This morning I was on a panel about math and creativity with two wonderful panelists. One was Tim Chartier (Davidson College) who spoke about his journey as a mathematical mime. The other was Robert Schneider (Emory University) who talked about his experiences as a musician and composer. I was on the panel in the capacity of podcaster, and I suppose a general mathematical storyteller. The panel was moderated by Samuel Hansen the podcaster behind Relatively Prime.

It was so wonderful to hear Schneider and Chartier talk about their own journeys of mathematical creativity. We all had some goal in common, that Chartier expressed very eloquently. We, as mimes, musicians, and storytellers, are really creating models of mathematical ideas. Not to be confused with mathematical models. But the things we create are meant to represent an idea in math, if not rigorously capture it. As a mathematical communicator this is always somewhat of a delicate issue. Professionally, we know that math is meaningless without rigor, but creatively, we know it’s possible to still capture some of the beauty and excitement of math if we just file down the edges a bit.

What became obvious to me on this panel, was also that each of us seems to be doing what comes naturally to us. Whether making music, miming, or telling stories, it seems like each of us had just found a way to capture and package the mathematical things that we would be doing anyways.

Saturday

Today is starting off with ice on the trees and lots of worries about travel.

Icy Trees on Baker Street in Atlanta, Saturday Morning

Icy Trees on Baker Street in Atlanta, Saturday Morning

Luckily there is math aplenty to take our minds off the ice.  Today the AMS bloggers will be at:

Mathemati-con! is happening at the Hyatt today.  So much fun! Featuring James Tanton, Ingrid Daubches, a Math Wrangle, Arthur Benjamin, and more.
AWM Workshop: Special Session on Number Theory, 8:00 a.m.-11:50 a.m. and 1:30-4:50 p.m. A704, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis

MAA Panel: Outside the Equation – Exploring Alternative Forms of Mathematical Communication 9:00-10:20 a.m. International 6, International Level, Marriott Marquis. Organized by Samuel Hansen, ACMEScience, featuring our own Anna Haensch,  of Dusquense Univeristy, Robert Schneider of Emory University, Edmund Harriss of University of Arkansas, and Tim Chartier of Davidson College.

Last chance to see "Fish" by Umut Isik!

Last chance to see “Fish” by Umut Isik!

Last chance for the Mathematical Art Exhibit today 9 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall on the lowest level of the Hyatt Regency.

Who Wants to Be a Mathematician? Also so much fun! 1-2:45 PM today Regency Ballroom VII, Ballroom Level, Hyatt Regency