Blog posts from 2020
Guest comic: Foundations of Forcing
Jul 28 2020, 13:29
I recently posted an answer on MathOverflow where I explained a bit about the approaches to forcing in the literature, at least as I experienced them.
Hanul Jeon took some of these words, and made them into a real nice comic. Originally appearing on his Twitter account. He was kind enough to let me post it here with his permission.Continue reading...
Jun 17 2020, 18:02
Three years ago I was looking for jobs, I was at the last stretch of my PhD and without clear prospects on what's next. Now I am offering jobs.
Unfortunately, this is not as simple as me just looking at some people's emails and choosing from them. The university has a rigorous and exhausting hiring process involving applying online, shortlisting, interviews, whatnot.Continue reading...
Jun 03 2020, 13:54
I am not here to solve racism. I am not here to solve discrimination. I can't do that. I'm just an early career mathematician, working on very impractical ideas whose influence on society is immeasurably small and far away. (That is not to say that these things are not important. They are).
Oddly enough, I am moved to write this by a Ben & Jerry's Silence is NOT an Option campaign.Continue reading...
What can you learn about writing papers from cooking pasta?
May 25 2020, 21:40
Those who know me in real life will know that I enjoy cooking. I particularly enjoy cooking pasta. Most authentic Italian recipes are so simple (algio e olio anyone?) that it's just wonderful.
I was cooking dinner today, bucatini alla matriciana if you must know, and I realised that cooking pasta and writing papers have nothing in common. Exactly one of those things is enjoyable, and it is not the writing part of papers (I do love the research part, of course).Continue reading...
On "trivial" statements
May 08 2020, 16:08
Last night someone asked a question on Math.SE regarding a lemma used in proving certain chain conditions hold when iterating forcing with finite support. The exact details are not important. The point is that the authors, almost everywhere, regarded this as a trivial case.
Indeed, in my answer I also viewed this as trivial. It was tantamount to the claim: If \(\cf(\alpha)\neq\cf(\kappa)\), then every subset of \(\alpha\) of size \(\kappa\), contains a subset of size \(\kappa\) which is bounded.Continue reading...
Yes! Future Leaders Fellowship!
Apr 23 2020, 10:13
Oh, have I been waiting to tell you something... Yes, I am a Future Leaders Fellow. But as my three regular readers know, this blog is not about announcements, it's about my experience.
In early January 2019, I was told that I can try and apply for a new scheme in the United Kingdom called "Future Leaders Fellowship". At the time not a lot was known about it, the first round winners were due to be announced, so it was unclear what are the success rates, or the "desired candidates" might be.Continue reading...
Choose your own adventure (redux)
Apr 16 2020, 12:39
I've decided to design a small "choose your own adventure". For fatalists. You can also play the interactive version here!.
This was originally "in-blog", but I decided that the interactive version is a bit more interesting. Enjoy it while it lasts!Continue reading...
Countable sets of reals
Apr 06 2020, 13:15
One of the classic results of Sierpinski is that if there are as many countable sets of reals as there are reals, then there is a set which is not Lebesgue measurable. (You can find a wonderful discussion on MathOverflow.)
This is fact is used in the paradoxical decomposition theorems (which I often enjoy bringing up as a counter-argument to bad arguments that the Banach–Tarski paradox implies we need to accept that all sets are measurable as an axiom):Continue reading...
Mar 31 2020, 12:25
With most people under quarantine, I spent some time going over older files in my computer. Exercise sheets, notes, whatever. Several years ago, when I was a teaching assistant for Itay Kaplan on Mathematical Logic 2 (incompleteness and basic model theory), I had put "bonus questions" in most homework sheets. Here are a few, translated from Hebrew.
(Week 2, arithmetic hierarchy, \(\beta\)-function)
In a single paragraph, analyse the squire's approach to the existential crisis of the knight, Antonius Block, in Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal". What is the role of the knight's wife in support and contrast to the squire's?Continue reading...