Mostly I don’t miss academic math, but sometimes I do

I really haven’t looked back since leaving academic math. For the most part I lost interest in math research in graduate school and took an academic job just to be sure that, indeed, I didn’t want to be in academia.

I definitely enjoy reading about current developments, though sometimes the articles make me happy I found something else to do. Pretty amazing what IMO gold medalists / perfect scorers are doing, though:

Math Quartet Joins Forces on Unified Theory

A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces

Working with my kids has reminded me about the joy math brought me when I was younger. Sometimes that work even inches towards questions that you might ask in math research.

This morning my older son and I talked through this problem from the 2015 AMC 10b:

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.35.55 PM

Here’s that project:

A Challenging Factorial Problem

After finding the four smallest numbers satisfying the conditions in the problem my son wondered how many more solutions there were, and if there would actually be infinitely many.

Good things for a kid to wonder and ponder – it brought me back to my grad school days for just a second 🙂



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