Exeter went all out for our final night – all the conferences (Math, Humanities, Biology, Shakespeare, and Diversity) shared a stupendous seafood dinner, and the math conferees were treated to an evening’s entertainment by Roderick Russell, a magician/mind reader/sword and fire swallower (http://www.roderickrussell.com/). While this might not seem like a very mathematical evening, everyone has been thinking/collaborating/studying hard this week, and it was a wonderful celebration of our efforts and collegiality.
Tomorrow I am giving a brief presentation on Flatland (http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~banchoff/Flatland/) in my higher mathematics class as my final project. I am finishing this class with a sense of accomplishment in surviving it (probably not what the instructor had intended) and knowing what I want tackle next – some number theory, abstract algebra, real analysis. My iPad class, on the other hand, has been a much more currently productive experience – jam-packed with ideas I can develop and share back home. We worked on a collaborative book on the architecture of Louis Kahn, who designed the Exeter Library, which can only be described as geometrically awesome.
Actually, I am certain there are appropriate architectural terms to depict the way in which the structure serves the type of space it is creating while simultaneously asserting its own form. But I just felt that I was in some type of hallowed place, and that great studying and learning could definitely take place within its walls.
I will reflect more on my week after I have had a chance to process it from a distance, but on this last evening in my somewhat monastic dorm room, I can only say that I am happy and grateful that I have experienced this week, and that I have come away with so much more than I ever anticipated. And rather than facing my summer with the usual exhaustion and desire to sort of shut down until business resumes in September, I am energized with ideas, and looking forward to turning them into some concrete plans in the weeks to come. And I haven’t even attended Twitter Math Camp (http://www.twittermathcamp.com/) yet!