Friday, April 18, 2008

Regional meeting

I went to a regional mathematics meeting last weekend in Pittsburgh, which was fun. One of my colleagues got a van and brought a group of students down to the meeting. One even gave a student talk that evening. Unfortunately, the student government ran out of funds and couldn't pay for the students to stay overnight, but they still got to see some cool stuff. Including a trip with us for Indian food. I think that may have been a rather big leap for them; I've never seen people so happy to see rice and bread. I even got them to try gulab jamun, which is actually the most fantastic dessert ever created, but is described as cheese balls in honey, so I'm not surprised they were a little hesitant. (I told them afterwards, "But now you can go tell all your friends you ate cheese balls in honey.") I did hear that our lunch necessitated a side trip to Wendy's later when the group split up for a while.

I did stay the night, and I actually gave a short presentation on a little problem I started thinking about last summer. So that makes two presentations at meetings this year. I'm beginning to suspect that getting accepted to talk is not so difficult. However, I still have to do the publishing part, and that takes a little more work.

Fun story from the conference: On the first day, the organizers had a survey in which everyone put stickers on a poster to vote for various activities at regional meetings. When we finished, we wrote our name on the back of the sticker sheet and dropped it in a basket for a drawing the next day. When it came time for the drawing, someone stood up and told us, "The janitor threw out the basket this morning..."

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