Very interesting interview with an applied topologist. Just as John Cook (the interviewer) I had no idea applied topology was a thing. Would not have thought homology can help with planning cellular network coverage. Apparently it does.

johndcook.com/blog/2010/09/13/

Finished listening to 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

It’s quite good but I liked it slightly less than The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (the only other book of Murakami I’ve read). Too much filler IMO.

Also a minor personal quibble. Description of and mathematicians is really cliched. It reminds of a comment by an acquaintance that being a mathematician my job must be boring because how interesting can it be to add numbers all day.

Yesterday I had to explain to a non-math undergraduate student what Riemannian geometry is. Surprisingly difficult. I tried to explain curvature in pictures and mentioned as an example that you can't make an accurate map of any region of Earth on a flat sheet of paper because the former is not flat but the latter is. I wonder what examples people use in similar situations.

PSA:

Terry Tao is on Mastodon!
@tao

He is a Fields medalist and one of the best (maybe the best) mathematicians in the world. Highly recommend him as a follow.

Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.
Alan Turing

Interesting quote but I would disagree somewhat. Science is both a differential equation and a boundary condition. Religion is trying add a new boundary condition which make the differential equation unsolvable.

One of my favorite papers is a paper by Milnor "On manifolds homeomorphic to the 7-sphere" from 1956.
scribd.com/document/75338163/J
It's only 7 pages long (8 with bibliography). Milnor showed that there exists a smooth 7-manifold homeomorphic but not diffeomorphic to the 7-sphere. The proof is absolutely beautiful and has influenced much of the development of high dimensional topology to this day.

"Anyone who cannot cope with is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house."
Robert A. Heinlein

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves