I haven’t written anything for a while, have I? Where should I start? Ah yes, how about Sunday?

Early Sunday afternoon, I decided to take a look at the analysis homework due today. I printed out the file, and to my horror, I didn’t understand what the questions were talking about. I completely panicked. I read Rudin for a bit and still didn’t understand anything. Then it was time for the ARML class. I had some prepared to use some problems from the Canadian Open Mathematics Competition, but after people solved the first two in about 30 seconds each, I decided I should try to find some harder problems, so I grabbed the individual round for Polya 1999 and used those. I think that was a very smart idea since the Canadian Open problems didn’t get much harder. Also Polya 1999 had some very nice questions on it. The best one was “Find the three prime factors of 2^22+1. (Hint: they are distinct.)” To be honest, I didn’t give them the hint. It doesn’t help anyway. They had a lot of trouble with this one. I think they solved it after 30 minutes.

After that was the AoPS class. I think it went very well, especially considering my inexperience with it. It’s annoying that the Digichat software is so resource-hungry. It usually crashes at least once in the course of a class. Other than that, I was happy. We didn’t have any disasters or near-disasters the way we did last week.

After the class I went to get some dinner before heading off to Isla Vista for the Yom Kippur service. The service was nice. A professor who was the son of a cantor in Israel sang Kol Nidrey the first time. That was nice. The rabbi gave a terrific sermon about honesty.

After the service, I worked on analysis a bit more and still failed to get anywhere on it.

On Monday morning I went to another Yom Kippur service and then went back to my room after it was over. I decided not to go to the afternoon service since I had an orchestra rehearsal at 7, and I didn’t feel that I could justify skipping it due to Yom Kippur since it started after Yom Kippur should have been over. So instead I went to Putnam seminar. That was fun. I learned how to solve a type of problem I never knew how to solve before. I problably never would have figured it out on my own.

At around 6:20 I left for orchestra so that I could be 20 minutes earlier than anyone else. Why I do that I don’t know. I won’t be that early today. That’s for sure. I somehow made it through the first half of the rehearsal despite having not eaten for the past day+epsilon, but at the break, I decided I could use a sip of sparkling water. I knew I could survive with that, and survive I did. After I got back, there was a pizza party in my house that had started 45 minutes earlier, but it was too noisy, so I decided that even though I was quite hungry I would just skip it. Instead I worked on analysis some more and then slept.

When I got up Tuesday morning, I realized that eating something would be a good idea since my diet in the last 36 hours had consisted of a half-liter or sparkling water and a piece of candy I had lying around. Food is good. After that I learned more about Sylow theory in algebra but understood little. I have to get caught up in algebra, but I was really getting worried about my analysis homework. After my classes, I realized that I could finally solve some analysis problems. I ended up solving almost all of them, but I imagine my proofs are not perfect for some of them. At least I managed to get most of it. I’m happy about that.

After Putnam seminar today, I went to an impromptu algebra study group, and I now know how to do four problems on the algebra homework. Three of them I actually solved myself. I’m impressed. But those problems aren’t supposed to be especially hard. I feel lost in his lectures some of the time, but I can do the problems. I guess that’s better than the other way.

I had better wrap up this entry so that I can eat and then get to my rehearsal before 7.

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About Simon

Hi. I'm Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I'm a mathematics postdoc at Dartmouth College. I'm also a musician; I play piano and cello, and I also sometimes compose music and study musicology. I also like to play chess and write calligraphy. This blog is a catalogue of some of my thoughts. I write them down so that I understand them better. But sometimes other people find them interesting as well, so I happily share them with my small corner of the world.
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