Suddenly, and for reasons I don’t understand very well, I’m a lot more satisfied with my life. I’m enjoying my classes (algebraic number theory, modular forms, and early recordings) and the Hartshorne group (we’re supposed to solve all the problems in chapters 2–4, but it’s turning into solving the problems we find interesting in chapters 2–4, which is probably still okay). I’m also starting to take on more projects. I’m co-organizing the Faculty Area of Research Seminar; yesterday we had our first talk. Even though it was about probability and applied math and PDEs, I found it really interesting and understandable. Next week we have a talk on low-dimensional topology.
Last weekend I taught two classes at Stanford Splash, a program that allows Stanford students (or anyone, really) to teach classes on any subject to students in grades 7–12. I taught one on the Dutch defense in chess and one on combinatorial games. I’ll be giving another talk on games to undergraduates next week, and I’d like to discuss lexicographic codes a bit in that one, if I have time. (Some of them might have seen the Sprague-Grundy theory before, but I highly doubt they will have seen this.) I’m also going to present something next week at the Putnam seminar that I went to when I was in high school (and once last year); I think I’ll present a problem whose solution involves finite calculus. At some point I’ll give a talk about Galois groups of extensions of local fields at the second-year seminar and a talk on either Tschirnhaus transformations or arithmetic dynamics (I’m not sure exactly what I’d say about it though) at the kiddie colloquium.
So I’m glad to be interested in math again. I think the music class helps; it gives me something to do that isn’t math. It’s a lot of work though!
Anyway, the weather looks perfect for a walk right now, so I’ll head off to campus now.