Friday, November 17, 2006

Live, from Harvard Square, it's...

Hey, folks!

It's been a busy few days, and I really am a little bit homesick and missing the green, green grass of UNCA as I pass the midpoint of my whirlwind tour of...well, two schools. I don't know how rock stars do it. (Anyone familiar with the song "Math Prof Rock Star," by Jim's Big Ego?)

I had a pleasant (however brief) stay in Murfreesboro, TN, where, on Wednesday last, I gave a research talk in graph theory to a crowd of folks from Middle Tennessee State University. I followed this talk with a very fruitful two-hour discussion with the couple of colleagues who'd invited me out to speak (props, Xavier! Thanks much, Caspar!). I look forward to working with them closely in the next few months.

Meanwhile, I'm sure you're all interested in knowing how the deal at Harvard is going. I haven't given my talk yet, but I had lunch with the principal pointy-heads, and they seem open to learning all about what we've been doing for the past several weeks. I'm going to open things up by asking them to do the Markov Dance; we'll see how well they perform those steps! From there we'll discuss the structure of the course, its planning, its successes and failures, its pitfalls and its triumphs. I'll be sure to post the PowerPoint slides on the course website when I get back (please remind me to do so if it slips my mind!).

I will also be sure to share your comments with them as well; I've created a digest of your feedback through the latest journal entry (the one asking, "whaddaya wanna say to this Harvard folks?") to share at relevant points in our discussion this afternoon.

Oh, and to those who had asked: yes, I have taken and will continue to take some pictures. I hate to disappoint you, Farina, but the folks up here in Cambridge don't look all that different from the faculty and students at UNCA.

Only, we're prettier!

On that note, I'll end for now. I'll try to post again this evening and let you know how things went.

Take care, and...oh!...have fun in class in a few minutes (those of you who are taking part in the optional peer review session)!

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