The last day of a conference is always a funny thing, people are still having to give talks(myself included) but most people are just getting easy to go and saying their goodbyes to their old friends and getting the contact informations from their new friends. My day started with Bob Devaney’s third talk, followed by my interview with him which you should very much be looking forward to by the way. Then after a short lunch I went up to the conference level of the Omni William Penn Hotel to the Phipps room where the Expository talks for undergraduates by Graduate students session was to take place, and where 3 and a half hours from then I was to give my Graph Theory talk. Most of the talks were really fantastic and I even won a bottle of bubbles for being the tallest person in the room. My talk seemed to go over decently well, I was happy enough with it even if I did get a bit nervous and skip over a couple of definitions that I really should have included. Then after one more talk it was all over, another conference over. Until the next one.
It has been a busy second day of MathFest for little old me. I got up early to avoid hitting a traffic jam as I did yesterday and ended up at the conference well before any other attendee was walking around. there is something otherworldly about walking around a conference when it is totally empty. it was as if the zombie apocalypse had finally happened and their first targets were the mathematicians. I used my free, and quiet, time to do my first run through of my expository Graph Theory talk(right at the 20 minute time limit) and to scope out possible areas for the interviews I was going to conduct today. Speaking of interviews I have done four so far today, two well known mathematicians who’s names are going to remain secret and then two textbook-as-a-service people for a show on open source textbooks that I am putting together, with one more to do in about 30 minutes. One of those interviews took place on the 16th floor with both of us sitting cross legged on the floor. Other than that I managed to record an episode of Math/Maths and I have a the MathFest tweetup occurring at 8 PM. For actual math content Ami Radunskaya’s Cancer talk was very engaging and Robert Devaney’s, he is tomorrow’s interview subject, Complex Dynamics and Crazy Mathematics talks are only getting better, today he talked about the dynamics of the exponential function and its Fatou set.
Finally back after the MathFest Tweetup, not super well attended(there were just three of us) but there was good conversation which is all anyone really needs. My last interview of the day, another textbook one, went decently well other than the lack of a place to conduct it which led me to do another interview while sitting on the floor. Which, come to think of it, was also how I recorded this week’s Math/Maths podcast today as well. Tomorrow is another interview and another talk which means that I need sleep which therefore implies that this is the last sentence of is post.
I sent my first morning at mathfest in a way that I typically do not at math conferences, listening to the invited lectures. I did this for two reasons; 1: all three talks looked very interesting and 2: i was hoping to get an interview with all of them as well. The first reason turned out to be a good one as all the talks were well done and engaging, especially Devaney’s talk about the Mandelbrot set, but my second reason turned out to be a bit of a bust(I got one maybe on Saturday, one sure over the phone later, and one maybe I would do a later phone one. I was expecting to have such issues as I had failed to set up any interviews beforehand, as I did for the JMM, but one for sure would not have been too much to ask for would it?
I am back in my motel room after a rather successful day of math conferencing. After my failures of the morning I presented a rather good talk about Mathematical Podcasting, met a fan of Strongly Connected Components, set up a couple of interviews with mathematicians that you very well may know the names of, and got a few minutes recorded at the Graduate Poster Session. Now I am sitting here eating pizza and watching television while I put off finishing my second presentation.
I sit here in my cheap motel room, about 25 minutes drive from the wondrous MathFest festivities that begin tomorrow at 9 am, listening to Canadian rapper K-OS and avoiding running through tomorrow’s presentation. Math conferences for me are a rather mixed bag, they bring together two of my favorite things(mathematics and people) but in a rather surprising turn I am not actually that good at just randomly approaching people to talk even if I know for a fact that we will have something to talk about. This all causes me to sit around and watch people with earphones in my ears as a sign that I am really that anti-social. As one of my plans for MathFest 2010 is to put together a long form audio documentary featuring off-the-cuff interviews with random attendees I will have to take a step out of my typical shell, since I am going to be talking about how headphones represent a major problems for people trying to mathematical outreach during my Podcast Talk tomorrow I guess this is some sort of karmic payback, and just talk to people I do not already know. What this really means is that if any of you wonderful people who read this words see an excessively tall young man with shaggy hair and a bow tie walking around aimlessly tomorrow, say hello(really please say hello I would love to speak with you).
Besides pathetic pleas to talk to me I do feel that I should mention that tomorrow at 3:45 in Sky I will be giving my presentation Auditory Mathematics: Podcasting as Mathematical Research. It is a quite quick, 10 minutes, into why I feel podcasting is a very important tool in the kit of all of us who are trying to make mathematics more popular and some very basic information and tips for those of you that I can convince to join me over here on the dark side where mathematical podcasting rules. Hope to see you there, or anywhere, tomorrow.