Field Trip


The most interesting and unusual thing that happened today happened in topology, so I’ll write about that at the end. Agboola drew lots of commutative diagrams in class today, and I don’t know how to TeX them. Now I finally have an excuse to learn.

Yesterday I arranged to change my Fourier analysis class from 8:30 on Tuesday to 1 on Tuesday so that Jon could come (or at least I think that was the reason), but Jon has another class at 1 anyway, so he didn’t show up today. Ryavec was being very sneaky. He tried to convince me that he was playing around with Fourier coefficients and transforms, but then suddenly the Riemann zeta function appeared. Actually it wasn’t all that unexpected since he made an integral of x^(s-1) times a bunch of other stuff dx, and I think I have learned that any time a variable is labelled s, it’s going to lead to the Riemann zeta function. It was very clever though. I’ll definitely need to look at it more closely.

So after Fourier analysis, I went to topology. When Bigelow arrived, he asked us why we were there and not at Witten’s lecture. It seems moderately strange that a professor would encourage students to cut class, but it’s definitely understandable that he wanted to hear Witten speak. So we took a class field trip to the Institute of Theoretical Physics and got very lost on the way, ultimately arriving fifteen minutes late. Of course, I didn’t understand anything at all. The point of going was just to hear a Fields Medalist speak. He’ll be back tomorrow, so I may go to hear him again. I probably won’t understand anything again, but arriving on time might help.

P.S. May whoever wrote that evil virus that scans computers for credit card information be banished to a deserted island with no computer access. I must have received more than 60 copies of it already. Fortunately, I had heard about it before I had a chance to get my computer infected with it, but it has already caused a tremendous amount of trouble.

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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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4 Responses to Field Trip

  1. eternalfight says:

    Credit card virus?
    What’s the virus called? How is it spread?

  2. Anonymous says:

    You often use “s” in Dirichlet L-series, elliptic L-series etc.

    • Simon says:

      A Dirichlet L-series is just a generalization of the Riemann zeta function, so I don’t really consider that to be fundamentally different. I should try to figure out what an elliptic L-series is, shouldn’t I?

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