Archive for November, 2008

IEEE Mentorship Dinner

This is me at the IEEE Mentorship Dinner on Tuesday of last week.
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Blogging Fringe Benefits

Blogging pays off in ways you don’t expect. Two years ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek way to cancel fractions. Early this year, book publisher Wiley Australia asked if they could put it in Maths Xpress 7 for VELS Level 5 Student Resource Book and eBookPLUS. Here’s the scan from my free copy.

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They changed a few of the words. I’ve never said “Cool, hey?” in my life. Nevertheless, it’s an honor.

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MRI Images

I recently volunteered for an MRI study at Vanderbilt. I got to lay in the machine for 90 minutes while it made loud rattling and humming noises. It used a supposedly ultra-powerful magnet: 7 Tesla. The superpowers haven’t kicked in yet, but while we’re waiting, click the picture below for the rest of the slices.

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WKU Math Symposium ’08

Saturday morning, I gave a keynote at the 28th Annual Mathematics Symposium at Western Kentucky University.  My talk, “How Big Can You Think?” began with a simple problem whose answer is so large it cannot be written down, even approximately, with elementary notation, such as towers of exponents. I tried to follow by saying that this inexpressability can be resolved with more powerful notation that greatly extends our ability to concisely describe numbers. I finished with an example (the “Harvey Friedman number”) which defies even the arrow notation used for Graham’s Number.

I met many interesting people, including

Dr. Peter Hamburger
Dr. Molly Dunkum
Dr. Dominic Lanphier
Dr. John Armstrong
Dr. Jason Rosenhouse
Dr. David Benko
Dr. Peter Lax
Dr. Peter Dragnev
Dr. Claus Ernst
Dr. Barry Burnson

Finally, here’s a picture Natalie took of me just after I spoke.

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