A couple of weeks ago, I submitted all my materials for my tenure application. Now comes the time where I obsess about what I could have done differently, what people are going to think about this or that, and whether I should have included/excluded that classroom activity, talk, poster session, etc. The list of things I can worry about goes on and on, but the truth is there is nothing I can do about this now. The documents have been submitted, and very soon my colleagues are going to start deciding whether to keep me or not. What I wanted to do with this post, given that I cannot do anything for myself at this point, was to “pay it forward” by telling anyone who might be going through this in the near future some of the lessons I have learned. Some of these seem really obvious, but they are easy to forget when you are stressed out.
A few weeks ago, I attended the AMS Central Fall Sectional Meeting in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It was my first time co-organizing a Special Session (so yes, I can now cross that off my bucket list). Initially, we invited a pretty diverse group of people, although a few had to cancel in the last minute. In the end, we had seven speakers, 5 of which were female (two of our male speakers dropped out, it would have been more even if they hadn’t). My co-organizer, Ursula Whitcher (now a recurring guest star in this blog), mentioned this as a fun fact to Georgia Benkart, associate secretary of the Central section. What she had to say surprised us very much.
Ken Ono (left) explains some mathematics to Dev Patel(right), before shooting a scene. Photo courtesy of Ken Ono and Pressman Films.
It is an exciting time for people who love movies and math. The Imitation Game, a biopic about Alan Turing, comes out this November, and a Ramanujan biopic, The Man Who Knew Infinity, based on the biography by Robert Kanigel, wraps filming in a couple of months. I am lucky to know the math consultant for the latter, Ken Ono, so I asked him to tell us what that experience was like.