Writing up results is the worst part of math (in my opinion). It’s where you run into snags like, oh, hey, that case doesn’t work, or worse. No different for us. I’m less worried than my REU students because I think there’s a good chance the “problem” is not a math problem but instead an issue with how we formalized something.
I left two weeks for writing, anticipating these hiccups, but it still seems too short.
Irena Swanson, of Reed College, is visiting us today. She’ll give a lecture on free resolutions. I’m excited! Irena is much more than a kickass mathematician. She’s also an ideal role model for anyone who hopes to be good at all parts of the profession. She has a robust research career while also being an excellent teacher at an elite liberal arts school. She’s done a ton for the mathematical community, especially commutative algebra. She’s advised more undergraduates that I can count on my hands and feet (along with a handful of Masters and Ph.D. students).
Having the chance to talk to Irena about their research will be an excellent opportunity for my group. And learning about free resolutions and Groebner bases will be super for the other REU participants.