100 Posts

Meaningless numerical milestones are a good a reason as any for an indulgent post. Today, I will discuss some facts from this blog which you might not otherwise know about. It will be in the form of an (mercifully short) interview with myself.

When did you start this blog?

I originally started it when I went to the IAS for a special year in 2010-2011, but I never ended up making the blog public at that time. The irreverence has been toned down for the current version. Sample post from the IAS: “Who wears short shorts? Deligne wears short shorts!”

What topics would you like to blog about in the future?

No promises, but here are some thoughts:

  • How does an NSF panel work?
  • What are letters of recommendation really like?
  • Who wore it better: piano v. orchestral arrangements.
  • Langlands versus the world.
  • Book reviews: Frenkel, Ellenberg, Harris.
  • India’s greatest mathematician: Harish-Chandra.
  • The top 1%: class and privilege in academia.

Does that mean you are planning to have less math in the future?

No, the math posts are not really planned in advance, they are just what I happen to be thinking about at the time. The math posts are really the main (if not exclusive) focus of this blog. Although, as one of my graduate students once remarked: “I though your post on swans was your best post ever.” Yeah, thanks for that, I’m working hard to bring you occasional insights into the vast edifice of algebraic number theory, and you like the guy who can wobble around to Saint-Saëns.

What can your readers do for you?

More audience participation! A lot of what I write is speculative, so please don’t refrain from giving your partially formed thoughts in the comments. As the readership of this blog went up, the number of comments has gone down. I think I understand this phenomenon, especially when it comes to math posts. The worst thing that can happen, however, is that you say something completely ridiculous in front of a bunch of senior number theorists. But, if you are not occasionally saying stupid things in front of smart people, then you are doing it wrong.

Does the audience have any questions?

I’m going to take audience questions in the form of random search terms which led to this blog. Perhaps those who came here were disappointed with their search results at the time, but perhaps if they search again this post will provide some answers.

  • 아리조나 윈터스쿨: I recommend going here.
  • review my paper: No thanks!
  • how can i tell how many pages my paper is: Form a bijection with one of the sets defined in Part II of this volume.
  • paskunas conference 2013: Sounds good! Alas, I was not invited.
  • maximal unramified abelian extension of a local field: It’s procyclic, and is generated by roots of unity of order prime to the residue characteristic. Assuming, of course, your local field is of mixed characteristic, which all the interesting ones are.
  • bush is the messiah: This seems to me to be an unverifiable claim.
  • galois reprsentations matrix: Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
  • honorarium + editor + elsevier: $60 for any processed paper. It is taxable income, however.
  • galoisrepresentations+blog+who?: It’s me!
  • bach mit pedal schiff: Bach without pedal, surely?
  • how do i find out how my paper is being reviewed: Oh, I can tell you that. If you are lucky, the reviewer has completely forgotten about it. Otherwise, the reviewer is currently cursing you for generally ruining his or her life.
  • compute the average rate of change from x = -10 to x = 10. enter your answer as a fraction in simplest terms using a slash ( / ). do not include spaces in your answer: (f(10)-f(-10))/20.
  • local even galois representations: I presume you are asking about representations of a local Galois group which are even. For this to make sense, you should probably talk about Galois representations at the infinite prime, that is, representations of \mathrm{Gal}(\mathbf{C}/\mathbf{R}) on which complex conjugation acts trivially. Let me classify those for you: they are all trivial!
  • peter scholze gowers: I don’t think they wrote any joint papers.
  • ila varma grothendieck: Same answer as above.
  • ila varma galois: Same answer as above.
  • danny calegari brilliant; jacob lurie genius: self-googling, I imagine.
  • joel specters math thesis: I shall link to it on this blog after it has been written.
  • representation galois change of characteristic: I assume you are asking about the pq-switch? It is now ubiquitous, but there are plently of good expositions available online.
  • affirmative motives: I guess these are motives which just need a little support. For only a $5 donation to this blog, I will help turn a poor motive into a bold and effective one, simply by twisting.
  • kevin buzzard chess: I’d be surprised if he had the time. I fancy my chances.
  • xxx agol in school: Personally, I rate way Agol schooled 3-manifolds as [T18+], suitable for topologists of ages 18 and above.
  • the math behind a waffle: Aah, sorry about that. I’m more an expert in the waffle behind the math. On the other hand, you can learn about the chemistry of waffles here.
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8 Responses to 100 Posts

  1. TG says:

    I’ll cast a vote for “The top 1%: class and privilege in academia”.

    Presumably JNT has some kind of filter to stop you claiming $60 for every crank proof of FLT/Goldbach that gets submitted?

  2. voloch says:

    I second Toby’s vote. BTW does the 100 posts include the deleted rant about the AMS? I quite liked that.

  3. I think that explaining NSF panels, and letters of recommendation, would be very helpful for some
    of your readers.

    A post on Harish-Chandra would be great. Herb’s survey is also really good. And let me put in a plug for this post as well, which gives a (very) condensed survey of HC’s mathematics.

    (Feel free to edit the html if the links don’t turn out right.)

  4. I guess the links were fine; it is the line break in the sentence before them that needs fixing.

  5. JSE says:

    Is the link to my page because I wrote a book about doing it wrong, or because I have sometimes said completely ridiculous things in front of senior number theorists, or both?

    • voloch says:

      I think is in analogy with spending too much time in airports if you’re not missing any flights. Someone who has never asked a stupid question, is not asking enough questions.

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