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).