PCMI Weeks Two and Three: Selected Highlights

So, it’s been a week since I got back from PCMI, and it’s taken that much time to recover from it. I wrote about the first week, and in particular the general first impressions and experience in this blog post. A lot happened in the subsequent two weeks, and I just wanted to write about some of the highlights.

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PCMI: Week One

The front entrance to the Hotel der Baer, featuring the titular accordion-playing bear, and Corey Manack (Franklin & Marshall).

The front entrance to the Hotel der Baer, featuring the titular accordion-playing bear and Corey Manack (Franklin & Marshall).

I have just finished (survived?) the first of my three weeks at the Park City Math Institute. The research topic this year is “Geometry of Moduli Spaces and Representation Theory.” ¬†For those of you not in the know, PCMI is an annual summer program sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study, which brings together undergraduates, graduate students, secondary and post-secondary teachers, and researchers. It is a huge crowd and for me it has been very exciting to be around so many people who are interested in different facets of mathematics and mathematics education. I have mostly interacted with my group, the Undergraduate Faculty Program, but I have slowly been meeting people from all of the other groups. Our schedule has been jam-packed with exciting things, and in this post I will summarize some of them.

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Moduli at the crossroads

Anand Patel giving a talk at the MXRI.

Anand Patel giving a talk at the MXRI.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Moduli Crossroads Retreat (Part I), aka MXRI, in Madison, Wisconsin. This conference was organized by Richard Kent, and funded by his CAREER grant. Richard said he wanted to model it after the Mathematics Research Communities, but to also allow a bit more time for informal conversations, networking, and professional development stuff. In particular, he wanted an opportunity for early career mathematicians and advanced graduate students to interact with each other. In a sense, he said, these are the people you will form collaborations with and see at conferences in the future.

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