Thursday, April 27, 2006

For Every Serious Post, A Frivolous One

That's our motto here at Orthonormal Basis.

We grad students also wasted time by looking up famous failed assassins; my favorite for years has been Richard Lawrence, the man who tried to assassinate President Andrew Jackson. To Lawrence's horror, both of his pistols misfired at the crucial moment, and Old Hickory proceeded to pummel his would-be murderer. (Lawrence was later found not guilty of his crime by reason of insanity, and passed the rest of his days in an institution.)

And yes, the fascination is partially that of fishing for compliments, but it's still intriguing: go here and choose five or six positive adjectives that best apply to me, or here for negative traits. You don't have to leave your name if you don't want to, but you shouldn't be afraid to. Because I didn't list "violent" as one of my negative traits. Thanks to Cory for the link.

Today's Math Department Colloquium with Danish physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Quantum Physics in Modern Mathematics, was entertaining and enlightening; I'm even more excited to take Quantum Mechanics next year! The MSRI lecture even included an explanatory allusion to Plato's Cave (though I think Dijkgraaf's analogy was backward with regard to the Cave, but what do I know?) and a physicist-meets-mathematician joke...

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