Category Archives: Academia

“Fraternity” by Benjamin Nugent

A collection of short stories, focused around a fictional fraternity at UMass. The opening story God was wonderful, and I enjoyed the other stories in the collection with overlapping characters. For some of the others I had more trouble finding … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Book reviews, Books | Leave a comment

American woman math PhDs of the 1940s

Apparently I’ve had this blog for a really long time: just over nine years ago, I wrote about Margaret A. M. Murray’s book “Women Becoming Mathematicians”. This post is just to note that the latest AMS Notices contains an article … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Books, Math | Tagged | 2 Comments

Open problems in algebraic combinatorics

This is pretty cool: Open Problems in Algebraic Combinatorics blog.  (It’s attached to this conference.)

Posted in Academia, Combinatorics, Math | Leave a comment

“Mathematics Made Difficult” by Carl E. Linderholm

I have seen attributed to Halmos (Linderholm’s advisor) the description of this book as an in-joke to the mathematical community, and that’s about right: I don’t think it would be possible to explain why it’s funny to someone who doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Book reviews, Books, Math | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A nice note

Purely in the category of self-congratulation: I received a lovely note (edited below) from an advisor in the University Honors Program, for which I’ve been teaching multivariable calculus, differential equations and linear algebra this year.  I heard through many disappointed … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Education, Math | Leave a comment


As I mentioned, after Vancouver I went to a conference at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, England.  It was mathematically excellent, and I feel that BBC detective shows properly prepared me for my first visit to the UK.  Trees in England … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Combinatorics, Math, Trees | Leave a comment


For FPSAC.  The part of the conference I attended was excellent, particularly an outstanding talk by Jennifer Morse on Macdonald polynomials.  Had dinner in a rotating restaurant which was fun (although I did find the rotation slightly nauseating).  Also walked … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Dinner, Trees | Leave a comment

“The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” by Richard Feynman

This book is a collection of short pieces by Feynman, including a number that were speeches or transcripts of interviews.  I thought there were several very interesting pieces, a bunch of repetition between different bits, and some odd choices about … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Book reviews, Books, Education | Leave a comment

Some more links on UMN faculty organizing

From the Minnesota Daily, Faculty files to unionize. From MPR, U faculty file petition toward union vote. From City Pages, Faculty file for union to bring the U’s focus back to the classroom. From Workday Minnesota, University of Minnesota faculty file for union election. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, What's the news? | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

UMN faculty union drive

Faculty at the University of Minnesota are filing to form a union!  It’s a group consisting of tenured, tenure-track, and contingent (adjunct) faculty, looking to join the SEIU education local.  This is the same union that organized Hamline adjuncts in … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, What's the news? | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment