A few weeks ago, I wrote about my math trip to Banff. I immediately continued my sabbatical travels in Honolulu, Hawaii, where I met with two other collaborators for two weeks. I think it’s safe to say that no one wants to hear about how much fun I had sitting at the beach, sipping a Pina Colada while coding in Sage and unraveling a paper by Kontsevich. In the spirit of not bragging too much about my awesome math traveling, I decided I would instead focus on a math-inspired art exhibit I saw while I was there, called Finding $x$.
The BIRS building. Here we held all of our meetings.
I have just returned (well, sort of returned) from an amazing week at the Banff International Research Station for a Focussed Research Group workshop on Effective Computations in Arithmetic Mirror Symmetry. A great research problem, collaborators who are both smart and fun to be around, and a backdrop of the Canadian Rockies (with an occasional elk sighting): what else could anyone want? In this blog post, I want to tell you a bit of how I came to be there in the first place, as one of the organizers in fact, and what being a part of an FRG is like.
As you may know, I was born and raised in Venezuela. I came to the U.S. a bit over 10 years ago to go to graduate school. It’s only been since then that I have been around for and a part of $\pi$ Day celebrations. This makes sense, since in Venezuela (and most other countries) dates are written in the day/month/year format, rather than the (slightly less natural) month/day/year format. Today, 3/14, is widely known around U.S. schools and universities as $\pi$ day. The only equivalent in Venezuela would be the 31st of April (yeah, there isn’t one).