Two Weeks in Paris

A quick game of Go with Yan X Zhang at the Sage-Days in Orsay.  I lost badly!
A quick game of Go with Yan X Zhang at the Sage-Days in Orsay. I lost badly!

Back for a day in Nairobi after visiting Paris for FPSAC 2013 and Sage-Days 49.  On the whole, it was a really productive visit; I met a number of my primary goals.  On the mathematics front, Kenya has been extremely isolating: One of the big goals for the conference, then, was to connect to some new things to work on and figure out what’s been happening in the algebraic combinatorics world in the last year.  It was exciting to actually work on math with people: when I arrived in Maseno, it turned out that no new graduate students had come into pure maths in some time, which meant there was no real outlet for doing math with other people.  So it’s been kind of a lonely year: I did a lot of work on education, and did some interesting community building around computer science with LakeHub, but often felt like my big area of expertise really wasn’t terribly helpful in Kenya.  The institutions weren’t really ready to make use of what I was bringing, since there wasn’t time or space for people to do research.  I obviously found lots of great stuff to work on anyway, but it felt a bit funny that I was so unable to engage people on the maths.

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