Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Feynman Method, and some excuses

I haven't been posting much lately it seems. Things have conspired to keep me busy enough that I have trouble finding time to post. The new prospective students came and that took up much more time than I expected. I'm curious which of them will accept the offer from PItt. It seems like it will be a good group for next year. Term papers are also starting to loom, so posting might continue to be somewhat rarefied for a few weeks. Who knows. I might end up posting more as a method of structured procrastination. That is actually fairly likely. One of my papers got accepted for the UT Austin grad student conference (woo!), so I will head down there in a few weeks. I'll get to meet Aidan and see a few people I met while visiting places last year. My paper is on speech acts (history thereof) and situation semantics (application thereof).

Instead of coming up with a substantive post, I thought I'd put up a good quote from a lecture by mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota (found via n-Category Cafe I believe) on how to be a genius:
"Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius. You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will
be a hit, and people will say, “How did he do it? He must be a genius!”"


Lindsay said...

I've found that my blog wouldn't exist without Structured Procrastination. It has become quite a lovely time-sucker.

Way to go on the grad conference. You should check out the music scene in Austin when you're down there. I hear it's bitchen.

Shawn said...

It is pretty sweet down there. Austin is one of my favorite cities. I'll let you know how the conference goes.

Justin said...

Hence a small n for the n-trick pony-you can only check so many tricks against so many problems.