Sunday, June 07, 2009

First impressions

My first impressions of this year's REU group:

1. They're a bit more timid than last summer's bunch. This isn't a good thing or a bad thing, it's just a thing. It's all good, it just might mean it'll take them a little longer to come out of their shells. (Nothing a bit of bonding over a long-ass list of graph theory definitions can't cure...)

2. They seem highly dedicated. They all talked about how much they love math, and several have mentioned how they become absorbed by problems on which they're working, and several of talked about their futures in math (grad school, teaching, etc.)

3. They strike me as talented, but modest. I already have a feeling they've got a great deal of math smarts collectively, but I don't think we've got any hotshots: almost every one of them mentioned to me within minutes after meeting me that she/he was excited to be here, and they seem to understand their participation in the program as a privilege and as a responsibility rather than as a right.

Tomorrow, we begin. Excitement!

No comments: