Monday, June 16, 2008

Greetings from Springfield, MO

My parents and grandparents have complained that they knew what I was up to better when I was on the other side of the world than when I am just across the country and have thus requested that I revive this blog. I must admit that Springfield is somewhat less exciting a city than Budapest and I am not convinced that my life here is going to be quite as interesting to anyone still reading this as it was last fall, but I suppose I may as well give it a shot.

After a spring semester involving rather less math and rather more non-technical courses than I have grown accustomed to (but which was nevertheless enjoyable) I have taken off to Missouri to spend my summer doing math research. For those of you who understand the language of math, I am exploring the zero divisor graphs of local rings and in particular am analyzing the relationship between the zero divisor graph of a local ring and the corresponding graph of its associated graded ring. Other than math I have been doing quite a bit of reading and have finished the Pickwick Papers - next semester I am taking a class on Dickens and Hardy, so my summer reading is going to be largely centered around these two authors.

I'm not exactly sure what else to talk about, so I am going to turn to the weather. I remembered from back when we lived in Cape Girardeau that Missourians are fond of the saying "Don't like the weather? Wait a couple hours." but I had forgotten just how true it is. As an example, Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny. By noon we had light fluffy clouds and by mid afternoon we were in the midst of a thunderstorm that decided briefly to hail. Before sunset it had cleared up that it could cloud over by morning and sprinkle on us as we walked from our dorm (Sunvilla, I'm on the 8th floor) to the math building. Since the forecast (hah) was predicting thunderstorms I packed a lunch. At noon I sat on a bench outside in the shade and watched the fluffy white clouds move across the bright blue sky. By 5pm it was completely overcast and threatening to rain again. The variability seems to be bothering some people, but I consider it a welcome change from the, shall we say, more stable climate of southern California.

(As a side note, I think spending a semester reading Shakespeare and the last week reading Dickens may have slightly altered my writing style...)

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