The last eight days

Since I haven’t updated since November 26th, I’ll start from the 27th.

On the 27th, also known as Thanksgiving, I got up at 4:45 so that I would make it to the airport by 6:30 to catch my 8:55 flight. A mathematician really should have a better sense of logic than I do. However, I was glad for my strange sense of logic this time. Nowhere is it mentioned that busses don’t run on Thanksgiving. The sign at the bus stop says which days there will be no bus. Thanksgiving wasn’t among them. Therefore, I was forced to sacrifice my principles and all that I stand for and telephone a taxi to take me to the airport. I arrived at the airport around 7:05, and that was after panicking that I might not get to the airport at all since most of the payphones don’t have telephone books. How clever some people are. Well, I got home alive, and I guess that was the whole point.

I probably talked more at home in three days than I did for two and a half months in Santa Barbara. I suppose I had a lot to say. I was also busier than I have been for quite a while. Something was planned nearly all the time. On Saturday the 29th, it was my grandmother’s birthday, so we went to a little tea house in Menlo Park and acted like snobs. That was fun.

When I got back to my room around noon on Sunday the 30th, I was horrified to find out that my computer was dead. We were told we wouldn’t be able to get back into the dorms until 3, but my key worked, so I wasn’t stopped by a mere admonition. I had already found substitutes for the ARML class, so I had until 4:30 to get my computer to work again so that I could assist in the AoPS class. I had a bunch of people look at it, but no one could fix it. The consensus was that I had a dead power supply, and the aforementioned consensus turned out to be correct. However, that left me without a computer until around 4:30PM on Wednesday. Fortunately, a friend was kind enough to let me use his computer for the Monday AoPS class. I had an assignment due Tuesday, so I had to go back to the Dark Ages and write it with a pen in a notebook. I would imagine that the last time I did a lengthy school assignment with pen(cil, since I didn’t always write in pen until about 3 years ago) and notebook was when I was in fifth grade.

Ryavec asked me to go to the West Coast Number Theory Conference in Monterey, December 17-20.. It sounds like fun. One of his former students is presenting a paper on the Riemann Hypothesis.

Classes are now over for the quarter. The only things that remain are the finals. I picked up my final for topology today, and it looks tough. I have the algebra final sitting in an envelope, waiting for a three-hour period to come along. (Actually, there are uncountably many three-hour periods, but I just have to choose a good one. That would require the Axiom of Choice, wouldn’t it? Uh oh.)

Congratulations to the world, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, and Michael Shafer for the discovery of a 40th Mersenne prime! 2^20996011-1 is prime. Just for the sake of being a complete math geek, I may order one of these, although they are a bit pricey.


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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4 Responses to The last eight days

  1. lol, what do you have against taxis?
    i would want a shirt if it had all the numbers of that mersenne prime, but all they have is a poster 😦

  2. goreism says:

    they don’t make such shirts for good reason 😀
    on a somewhat related note, i wonder wat resolution my comp would need to have a background of that poster?

  3. z9r4c3 says:

    yeah…’t-shirts would be nice. and, heh. ARML practice…

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