Interesting Article on “Mathematician Early Death Syndrome”

The Mathematician’s 90th-Birthday Party

And here I am, 21 years old with a Dummit & Foote in my hand and trying to make sense out of Galois extensions.

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Acronyms in Math

You probably use a lot of acronyms when you write a proof, let it be in an exam or a lecture. And let’s face it. Some of them are very popular and easy to understand:

  • WLOG: Without Loss Of Generality
  • TFAE: The Following Are Equivalent

You have probably seen QED in some texts and even used it, perhaps. But do you know its meaning? Some people joke that it means Quite Easily Done! Actually, it means Quod Erat Demonstrandum, which in Latin, loosely means “that which was to be demonstrated”.

Then, of course, there are the millions of acronyms, such as RTP, TST, ETP, which all mean “to show that”, “enough to show that”, etc.

One acronym I read today in West’s Introduction to Graph Theory is TONCAS. It means The Obvious Necessary Conditions Are Sufficient!

Internships

On Facebook, I see my engineering friends going off here and there to do internships every now and then. They even have workshops during the semester and sitting at home doing nothing is just not an option. Some people manage to visit an IIT, an IIM and some foreign university in their four-year undergraduate course in order to do an internship.

For us, however, it’s different, very different. The students, of course, want to do internships and courses and projects. But there is an alarmingly large number of professors (and parents) who don’t want that. In our institute, Prof. Archimedes tells everyone during admission that an internship is a waste of time. He becomes angry (literally) when someone mails him saying that he/she wants to do a project under him. And he tells everyone’s parents not to let their “kids” go off to other colleges instead of returning home.

Another problem is the behaviors of professors. At every institute, there are usually four-five professors in your field(s) of interest. And it is very likely that at least one of them will not be available during that time, one of them has already got two-three students and doesn’t want any more and the remaining two or three won’t bother to give you a reply. And then of course, some institutes have centralized procedures that ensure your favorite professors are not guiding any projects or you need recommendations or you don’t satisfy the eligibility criteria, or worst of all, the last date was half a year ago.

I understand that we don’t want to study during the semesters but if we are so interested in studying during the summer break, isn’t that a good sign?

PS: Fingers crossed. Hoping to get a project this summer at one of the better colleges.

Can Love Be Arranged?

Recently, I joined a company for an internship in Content Writing. However the company, kind of, vanished into thin air in a few days. They gave me an assignment to write a few words on the topic “Can Love Be Arranged?” I am sharing the article I wrote here.

Love is the greatest mystery in the universe. Even in this age of science and technology, where every mystery from the Bermuda Triangle to Jack the Ripper is being solved, love remains unsolved and unexplained. In various parts of the world, including India, arranged marriages are the norm. The parents of the groom-to-be go from house to house, village to village, city to city, to see the bride-to-be if she is suitable. Favorable characteristics can include beauty, height, education, salary, cooking skills, caste, etc. Smoking and drinking habits are frowned upon. The parents usually make the decision. But can such a marriage be fruitful? Can it be happy? Well, humans, in general, have a power. They can adapt to any situation, however bad it may be. And when the newly wedded couple have a child a few years into the marriage, they have something to center their marriage and their lives on. They have a reason to be happy. But is that all that love can be? What about going out to watch a movie, without the baby? What about spending a weekend together, away from it all? Somehow, such hopes and desires are fulfilled by watching movies at home while feeding the baby, or while cleaning its diaper. And, of course, sometimes, these marriages turn out to be unhappy, very unhappy. Only a few years ago, when they were going off to college, their parents were telling them not to mix too much with the opposite gender. And now they are telling them to marry and live the rest of their lives with a complete strangers. Isn’t there something wrong there? What is wrong with love? Yes, it hurts at first. But isn’t it worth it, if one day, you meet someone whom you actually want to spend the rest of your life with?