Archive for March, 2007

This post is unrelated to academia or physics. Sorry. I’ve spent the past week in Wales as part of a group of Marshall scholars. We had a full programme of events and were able to attend presentations by the Welsh Assembly Government and the universities of Cardiff and Swansea. We were also treated to a […]

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(Note: this post is `just for fun;’ no premeds, doctors, researchers, or nobel laureates were meant to be offended in the writing of this post.) The bane of many American physics grad students is teaching introductory physics to premed students. Due to the nature of med school admissions, one ends up with classrooms full of […]


This time of year is a bit hectic in US universities. On the one hand, the NCAA basketball tournament kicks off. On the other hand, the last graduate school offers are made and seniors interested in PhDs are whisked away to prospective student open houses across the country. Unlike here in the UK, American universities […]


My Irish neighbor often asks me why it is that Americans seem to perpetually confuse Ireland and Scotland. He recently forwarded me this in celebration of St. Patrick’s day: For Americans: St. Patrick’s day is an Irish holiday. Ireland is the island to the left of Britain. You may know it as the place where […]


Today brought more student ‘Part III talks’ and the beginning of the six week Easter break. (Also known as the six week Easter essay-writing-and-course-revision period.) After having fun giving my talk yesterday, today’s talks were a chance to really appreciate one of Part III’s strong points: the other students. Some of the Part III courses […]


Yesterday I gave a `Part III talk,’ which is meant to be a chance for students here to practice their seminar skills and to share neat mathematical ideas to their peers. It’s also something of a commercial for the Part II students who are interested in doing  Part III. Most people are giving talks on […]


Pi day (3/14 in the US) is not, as far as I’m aware, celebrated in the UK (where it’s 14/3). For a timely summary with nice references see Stefan’s recent post at Backreacktion. Last night over dinner my staircase-mates suggested the 27th of January for ‘e’ day.


A UC Berkeley senior has been arrested for the `felony grand theft’ of Ernest Lawrence’s Nobel Prize in physics, the university’s first such prize. The student apparently told police that he took the medal “on a whim.” I imagine Stanford undergrads are full of snarky comments regarding this as many probably initially suspected that the […]


A Caveat… I should note up front that I don’t have any `trouble with [Lee] Smolin,’ as my title might suggest. I couldn’t resist using the above title after I saw a Heffers book display featuring a new book, The Dawkins Delusion; a pun on Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion. I actually found Dr. […]


Saving the environment is `in’ these days, so I’ve been trying to make an effort to avoid unnecessary printing by reading more papers on my computer. I suspect that PDFs are becoming the standard for reading papers online, and I’ve been really impressed by the ‘hypertex’ features that allow hyperlinks within the document and to […]