Starting to end the REU

There are only two and a half weeks left of the REU. How did that happen?!

My REU students are still making progress. We established that the active writing will commence (and thus the research will end) on Monday.  My students assure me that they’ll work on tying up the loose research ends on over the weekend.*  They know that I’d like to see one more theorem from them by the end of the week, and I think they’re slightly afraid of me.  Ergo, I have high hopes.   Oh, yeah: They’ve also got some blogging to do. (← see what I did there?)

As usual, I have only good things to say about the REU students. All nine of them, plus the other Willamette students that have been haunting the math building, are friendly, well-adjusted people. It’s nice to see the “awkward mathematician” stereotype erode with each generation.  At the same time, it’s almost boring.  They could at least pretend to have some drama in the ranks.  You know what they say.  Every happy REU cohort is the same…**

While the REU’s end looms ever closer, I can’t help but remember that MathFest is right around the corner.  I need to extract my talk from my brain on slap it on some slides for the session “Concrete Computations in Algebra and Algebraic Geometry.”  Shout out to UNL alum and former office mate, Mike Janssen, who’s talking in the same session. While I’m advertising talks: Don’t miss Karen Smith’s Hedrick Lecture Series!

There’s plenty more to do, too!  Since I passed off my big project to my coauthors, I’ve made small headway on a couple minor projects (one expository, one research).  I’m struggling to write the broad strokes of a grant proposal before the summer is over (there’s no time during the semester to get something like that written).  It’s hard to believe my first sabbatical is close enough that I have to start planning now.  It’s exciting to pin down goals and questions, but it’s also frustrating to reflect on all that I want to accomplish.  The process has been painstaking and slow.  I have to remind myself that, although it feels like I’ve been a math professor forever, it’s only been a couple years.  There’s been a huge learning curve.  Now that it’s less steep, I look forward to being more productive.

Speaking of productivity, I see that my allotted blog-time has run out.


*”We’ll work through Sunday night if we have to!” one of them exclaimed.

**Sorry, Dostoyevsky.

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