I'm a math professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The purpose of this blog is to record interesting things I read, see, eat, hear, or otherwise encounter. My professional page is here. I wrote a novel called The Grasshopper King , which was published in 2003 by Coffee House Press.
quomodocumque's Latest Posts
Greg Smith gave an awesome colloquium here last week about his paper with Blekherman and Velasco on sums of squares. Here’s how it goes. You can ask: if a homogeneous degree-d polynomial in n variables over R takes only non-negative values, is it necessarily a sum of squares? Hilbert showed in 1888 that the answer […]
From Maria Konnikova’s New Yorker piece on Randall Munroe and what makes science interesting: In a meta-analysis of sixty-six studies tracking interests over time (the average study followed subjects for seven years), psychologists from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign found that our interests in adolescence had only a point-five correlation with our interests later […]
Jed Perl opposes Jeff Koons: The sculptures and paintings of this fifty-nine-year-old artist are so meticulously, mechanically polished and groomed that they rebuff any attempt to look at them, much less feel anything about them. But four paragraphs later: Koons knows how to capitalize on the guilty pleasure that the museumgoing public takes in all […]
Lately CJ has a habit of ending every story he tells by saying “So… yeah.” I first noticed it this summer, so I think he picked it up from his camp counselors. What does it mean? I tend to read it as something like “I have told my story — what conclusions can we draw […]
I hope the world never runs out of awesome Earl Weaver stories. I saw Earl Weaver put on a suicide squeeze bunt, in Milwaukee. It worked. Everybody asked him, ‘Wait, we thought you told us you didn’t even have a sign for a suicide squeeze, because you hated it so much.’ Earl said, ‘I still […]
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