These are interesting times to look over the algebraic geometry arxiv postings. Just over a week ago, there was a posting by Tanaka which claimed the minimal model program was false in characteristic two. Then yesterday at the top of the page was a paper by Castravet and Tevelev claiming that the Mori Dream Space conjecture for \overline{M_{0,n}} was false. Then today, there is a paper by Fontanari claiming instead that the Mori Dream Space conjecture is TRUE for the same space, but modded out by the finite group S_n.


First, the oops.  I DID intend to blog from Berlin.  Didn’t happen, got caught up in giving talks and starting collaborations.  It happens.  I MAY be posting again in the next couple of months, but I’m only back home for a couple of weeks before I go off again travelling.  Mid-May is the next long-term stable period I’ll have, but I have half written posts that should be up before then.  Probably.  Maybe.

As for “Yay” (cue youtube), the biggest reason for the “Oops” is that my thesis is finally posted to the arXiv! The next project won’t take so long.

No substantive post today, because my grant application is due.  New post next week!

Hi everyone, it’s been a LONG time since I last posted to this blog, and I intend to do so a bit more now that a few things have been handled.  The first of the handled things: I just defended my thesis today! And it was successful! So, once I finish writing it up for publication, I’m going to put some version of exposition on it here.  The other thing is that I’m employed in the fall.  I’m going to be spending the next three years as a Postdoc at Kavli IPMU at the University of Tokyo.  So, I should be back to posting by the end of the month, and this blog may well start to include some things other than math, like involving moving to Japan and adapting, learning the language, and the like.

I’m still here! Though posting will be a bit sporadic in the future, as I’m spending the majority of my time working on my thesis.  I’ll be back to blogging a bit more often once that’s been finished.  So, here’s a review I started writing back in November, but has sat in the draft box since then:

About six months ago I asked people for opinions about digital pens, and did my own research, so I decided to pick up a LiveScribe Echo based on what I’d heard, and the campus computer store has a 10 day return policy (so long as packaging is intact) so I decided to give it a try.  For those who are impatient, the short version of my review is: the digital pen is good, and I’m keeping mine, but there are a few improvements that would go a long way to mainstreaming, so I give it a 4/5.


I know I still have a few readers out there, and some of you are probably technophiles, so here’s a question: I’ve been considering switching from live-texing of things to a digital pen of some sort.  Anyone have any experience with these things? Know which ones work well and which don’t? Which ones may work with linux (though I do have a windows partition if really necessary)?

I’ve looked at a couple of them, and I’m really not sure what their specific pros and cons may be, and I have no real way to try them out directly at the moment.  There’s the LiveScribe pens, which require their magic dot paper stuff, which is a drawback that I’m not sure how annoying it would be, plus I don’t know how useful sound recording would be, though I can see myself maybe using it at some point.  The other brand I’ve looked at is SolidTek’s DigiMemo, which is a bit bulkier being a clipboard, and amazon reviews suggest it’s finicky.  Is there another brand I should look at? I’m mostly looking for a way to nicely digitally archive all of my scratchwork (my collection of notebooks is expanding too fast!) and also maybe taking notes at seminars, conferences and the occasional advanced course.

So, anyone? I figure that any math person who has a digital pen or has at least considered them will have a lot of the same uses in mind as me, and so I’m very interested in opinions.

This is one of those annoying “Why I haven’t posted recently” posts.  Mostly, it boils down to a single word: thesis.  Mine’s coming along well, but I’ve kind of disappeared into it.  However! Right now, I’m going to throw my hat over the wall, and declare that I’m going to attempt MaBloWriMo once again! This time will be far less coherent, and likely more full of abelian varieties, moduli problems, and the like instead of attempting something like intersection theory.

So, anyone else going to attempt it? Anyone out there still reading?

The Fields Medals have been announced! The winners are Elon Lindenstrauss, Ngô Bảo Châu, Stanislav Smirnov and Cedric Villani.  Of them, the only one I was really aware of was Ngô Bảo Châu, as I’d been reading a lot of Geometric Langlands stuff right around when he proved the Fundamental Lemma, so for him, I have a bit of an idea of what he did.  Looking forward to reading up a bit on the others (if anyone can recommend a paper of theirs that’s relatively easy to read and has some of the work that got them Fields Medals, I’d be very interested.)

And I’m going to make a point of being one of the first to do so openly, and speculate on 2014.  I think Lurie will win (I’ve been saying this for a couple of years now, that he won’t get 2010, but will in 2014) and I say 50/50 on Ávila, as he’ll have still have another round…but of course, in the next four years, anything can happen.

Today the conference ended, and I’ve got an early plane to catch. I’ll be away from the blog for a bit. Here’s the notes from the last day, which, I admit, are a bit sketchier than most of the others, but they’re what I have:


Somehow, despite not updating in forever, somehow rigtriv placed on this list: 50 Best Blogs for Math Majors.  We’re number 18! Somehow, we came in higher than the Secret Blogging Seminar, so this is hardly the best ranking, but it’s good to be loved.

So what does this mean? What’s the future of this blog, which has gone a bit silent of late? Well, I’m continuing my hiatus for the next two weeks or so, but I’m going to a Summer School in Hodge Theory and, if things go as planned, I’ll be posting my notes at the end of each lecture to this blog (and, when a lecture series ends, I’ll link to a pdf on my personal website) and then I’ll get back to blogging a bit more, though admittedly my time is being largely taken up by thesis work.

On the topic of time…looking for cobloggers.  If you’re interested, leave a comment to that effect, and I’ll email you shortly.

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