Thoughts on trying to get a postdoc

How exactly does one get a postdoc? You could try and show that you’re the smartest researcher around. Well, if you’re in grad school, you’re probably smart. But the Harvard grad student with an Olympiad medal in high school and a 3.9 GPA from MIT is probably smarter, and definitely more conscientious. It is betterContinue reading “Thoughts on trying to get a postdoc”

Changing your archetypes

There’s a scene in “A Beautiful Mind”, when Russell Crowe writes mathematical equations on a glass pane as it snows outside. There’s another scene in which he rides a cycle in the shape of . These scenes have played a major part in making me want to become a mathematician….to discover ideas beautiful enough toContinue reading “Changing your archetypes”

The Mundanity of Excellence

I had a great time reading The Mundanity of Excellence by Daniel Chambliss. I came across this article in an interview given by a famous researcher, who tried to read a new research paper everyday for more than two years. She said that this was the most influential paper that she’d read, and that itContinue reading “The Mundanity of Excellence”

The work of Alice Chang

Sun-Yung Alice Chang is one of the pre-eminent scholars of modern geometry, and I wanted to understand the nature of her work. Although I’ve read papers by her before, this article written by her students Matthew Gursky and Yi Wang serves as a solid introduction to her work. Given below are my notes as IContinue reading “The work of Alice Chang”

How to actually make friends

–Don’t be yourself. The most common advice to make friends is “be yourself”. Don’t be artificial. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. But what if you are, very deep inside, an obnoxious troll? What if you’re insecure, always looking to status-battle, and very intrinsically unpleasant to be around? Is there any hope? Now thatContinue reading “How to actually make friends”

Afghanistan and the Turing Machine

How do societies modernize? One day they realize that their ways have gotten older, and they transform overnight into liberal democracies with equal rights for all. Not really. Afghanistan The US invaded Afghanistan to spread democracy, women’s rights and universal love (there was something about hegemony in the Middle East, but those are just rumors).Continue reading “Afghanistan and the Turing Machine”